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DRIP DROP DEAD (Emma Frost Book 12), Page 2

Willow Rose

  "Yes, the blood was injected into them when they were abducted, and he needed it to survive…why can't you publish it? You always publish everything I write, and we sell millions of books."

  "I don't even have a category to put it in. What genre is this? Who am I going to sell this book to? Who is going to believe it?" she asked, holding up the manuscript with the title Waltzing Matilda printed on the first page.

  "Does it matter?" I asked. "Isn't it enough that it’s a good story?"

  "But, Emma, your books are always based on real events; that's what makes them so amazing," Inger said.

  "But this is based on real events. It happened," I said. "Last month. That's why I wrote the book."

  Inger sighed and leaned back in her leather chair. Behind her was the view of Copenhagen. I liked being back for a visit, but I couldn't say I had missed the place. My heart belonged to Fanoe Island now.

  "I don't know what you think happened, but this book isn't real, Emma. A vampire who has been here for centuries entering through…the sewers?"

  "Well, we don't know how he entered, just that he woke up in the sewers under Fanoe Island and, ever since, he has lived there, feeding off whoever he could hold captive until he could find other people from his own world who had also ended up here. He could recognize them by their blood, and drinking theirs would keep him…"

  "Emma, I’m going to stop you right there. I’ve read the book. You don't have to explain it to me. I’m doing you a favor. By not publishing the book, I am saving you from public embarrassment; believe me."

  "Why?" I asked. "Because it's supernatural? Because it's out of your comfort zone?"

  "Because it's too darn crazy. This book will make people lose their confidence in you; you'll lose the credibility that you’ve built up over the years. Now, they'll start believing you are making all of it up and in that way all your other books will lose their special touch. Can't you see that?"

  I shrugged. "Isn't that my problem? If I want to publish this book and ruin my credibility? This is an important story to tell. People should know about these things."

  "About strange creatures living among us drinking our blood? About kids with special skills who can explode windows and create fire with their hands? I hardly think that is important to tell people, Emma. They won't believe a word of it."


  Inger shook her head. She pushed the manuscript across her desk toward me. "It's a no, Emma. I have strict orders from above. There is no way this publishing house is publishing that book. I am sorry…no. You know what? I’m not sorry. I’m helping you out here. You should thank me."

  I grabbed the manuscript between my hands and rose to my feet, holding it tight to my chest.

  "Yeah, well there is no way I am going to thank you for having no balls," I said as I grabbed my purse and left.


  I drove home so fast I got not one but two speeding tickets. The first one while still on Zealand, the other while hurrying toward the ferry because I didn't want to have to wait till the next one twenty minutes later. This trip had turned out to be quite expensive and so not worth my time.

  As I stood on the deck of the ferry and watched my misty island approach in the distance, I finally managed to calm down. How I loved this strange little place in the middle of the North Sea. A woman came up to me with eyes wide and a book in her hand.

  "Are you Emma Frost?"

  I nodded. She held out a pen, and I signed her copy of Itsy Bitsy Spider, the first book I had ever written.

  "I love your books. I have all of them," she said. "We actually decided to visit Fanoe Island because of your books. I can't believe I actually got to meet you, the real Emma Frost. You're an amazing writer. Don't ever stop writing books. I'll keep reading as long as you write."

  I felt a little emotional and sniffled. "I won't," I said. "I promise."

  As the woman left, smiling from ear to ear, I realized I wasn't going to let some publishing house stop me from getting my books out to my many readers. There had to be another way I could get this story out, a way that was easier.

  The ferry came to shore, and I drove off, feeling empowered and strong, while an idea lingered in the back of my head. I drove up to my beach house and got out, then walked inside. The smell of newly baked rolls filled my nostrils. In the kitchen, I found my mom and dad reading the paper together while holding hands. I had asked them to be at the house to keep an eye on Skye and be there when Victor got back in case I didn't get there in time. Victor wouldn't be happy that I wasn't there since he loathed change, but he loved my dad and, as long as he got his afternoon tea as usual, then I believed we could avoid him throwing a fit. It took a while to explain to my mom that he wasn't just a spoiled twelve-year-old, but that he had a condition, even though I didn't have a diagnosis for him.

  "Emma? You're back?" My dad said looking at me above his glasses.

  "That was early," my mom said. "Did everything go alright at the publishing house?"

  I sighed and threw my manuscript on the counter. "They won't publish it. Is Victor home yet?"

  "Not yet," my dad said.

  "And Skye?"

  "She's in the living room, waiting for him," my mom said, and then added, "What do you mean they won't publish it?"

  I shrugged, grabbed myself a cup of coffee, and sipped it.

  "They didn't like it, I guess."

  "Well, it is quite different than your other books," my mom said. I had let them both read it since I needed their feedback, plus I really wanted them to know these things, to know what had happened and what Victor and Skye were capable of. I knew my mom didn't like it much, even though she didn't say it directly. She just had a hard time picturing all these things.

  "I never had much of an imagination," she said.

  "But it's real, Mom," I tried to explain. "Victor does these things. It happened. All of it."

  "Now, well…I don't know about that…" she replied, making a face that told me she didn't believe me at all.

  My dad was struggling with it too, but he seemed more open. He always believed Victor was quite special and not just an undisciplined child like my mom thought.

  "We baked," my mom said, smiling. "Just like you wanted us to, to make sure Victor got the bread he usually gets when he gets home from that…place."

  "School, Mom. We call it school, even though it is at a psychiatric hospital."

  "Oh, yes, well…"

  I looked at the oven and the rolls inside of it. "I think you need to get them out. They look a little brown to me."

  My mom sprang to her feet. "Oh, dear Lord."

  She opened the oven and pulled out the rolls, then smiled. "They're only a little burnt."

  I was about to say something just as I heard the minivan from Fishy Pines arrive in my driveway and I ran out to greet Victor instead.


  He hoped he could sneak in without her waking up. Brian Mortensen fumbled with the keys to open the front door. The Uber behind him left as he finally managed to step inside. The house was so quiet. Brian sighed deeply and took off his tie, then kicked off his shoes. He exhaled as he put down his briefcase next to his shoes, thinking about Jonna, the woman he had met with tonight while his wife thought he was working late.

  It was all his co-worker Carl's doing. Setting them up. He had done this for ten years, and his wife had never found out. For him, it had all begun with a fling at a Christmas party…it was a cliché, yes, but the truth nonetheless. Carl had told Brian about it in detail, how this very attractive senior member of the staff (he didn't want to mention any names, but Brian knew very well who she was nonetheless) was being very seductive.

  "She was all over me, being like, 'Oh, there's no one else in the building,'” Carl had explained. And then they had sex in her office.

  It wasn't the fact that they had sex or the fact that Carl was having an affair that was so interesting about this story. No, what had made Brian listen extra carefully was when Carl
talked about what had happened afterward. The sex was the fun part, of course, but there had been a side effect to it, an unexpected one, that held Brian's interest.

  Once Carl had come home after the party, he had been so overwhelmed with guilt, he had made love to his wife the next morning in a way they never had before, attending to her every need in a manner that revitalized their sex-life and their entire marriage.

  That was why Carl did it, he had told Brian. He had affairs that usually never lasted more than a few months at a time. They would mostly meet up in some hotel room, and he would get to try all the things his wife wouldn't let him, and then he would come back home feeling so incredibly guilty that it made him be the best husband he could ever be. Plus, the secrecy, the knowledge that he was keeping this big of a secret from his wife, made it very erotic to him, arousing even. It was a rush he kept coming back for more of. Just like a drug.

  "It’s incredible," Carl had told Brian a couple of months ago. "You should try it."

  Brian had thought about it. A lot. His marriage was suffering and had been for a very long time. Especially since Ann got laid off—or forced to retire early as they liked to put it. Ann used to be this sexy woman whom he couldn't keep his hands off, but now she was doubting herself and feeling worthless in a way that made her not want to have sex with her husband. It had been going on for so long that Brian was getting desperate. He had tried to explain to her that he had needs too, that he needed the closeness, but she kept pushing him away. And, on top of it all, there was the matter of her growing paranoia that drove him crazy. Ann kept hearing sounds and kept telling him she believed someone was following her. She tried to hide the fact that she was taking pills for it, but he had found them hidden behind the tampon box in the bathroom. He had no hope of getting her back to normal anytime soon.

  Soon, he began to consider Carl's proposition and, weeks after he had told him about it, Brian was sitting in his office while Carl created a profile on Ashley Madison, the place where he could meet his next fling, as Carl liked to put it. It was apparently this website where you could chat with women who were looking for the same as you. Nothing but casual sex.

  "Make sure you only chat with those that are already married. This is crucial. They need to be like you. Otherwise, they'll get clingy and start to ask you what you're doing and why you're seeing other women and text you during the day, and you don't want that," Carl had explained as they scrolled through the many women. Brian had never in his wildest imagination pictured himself meeting some woman through a website and then having sex with her just like that.

  Was it really that easy?

  As it turned out, it was. Brian soon started to chat with this woman and would stay at the office for hours after everyone else had left and “chat” with her. The chatting soon turned into them wanting to meet up, and tonight had been the night.

  But much to Brian's surprise—or disappointment—the sex hadn't been great. It had been awkward and clumsy, and he hadn't enjoyed a minute of it. He kept comparing this woman to Ann and quickly realized that she fell short. At one point, he had even found himself fantasizing that this woman was, in fact, his wife.

  Now that he had tried it, Brian didn't feel quite the way he had thought he would. As he walked up the stairs toward their bedroom, he did feel guilty, as he had expected, but he didn't really feel that other part that Carl had talked about. The erotic part, the part where you feel almost high on an adrenalin rush and want to do it all over again.

  All he felt was the guilt part. A deep disgust with himself for having done the unthinkable to his wife and all he could think about was that he would never ever want to do anything like this again.

  Brian stood in front of the door to their bedroom and placed his hand on the doorknob, feeling like the worst husband in the world. He sighed and opened the door, wondering if he was ever going to be able to live with himself after this. Was he ever going to be able to look his wife in the eyes again?

  Maybe you should just tell her everything.

  It was against everything that Carl had advised him, but Brian knew it was the only thing he could do. If Ann left him, then so be it. He was the one who had screwed up by listening to an idiot like Carl. How could he have been so stupid? Brian and Ann had something unique. So many years together was truly special, and now he had destroyed it all.

  Luckily, the kids were all grown and had left the house, so they wouldn't suffer from it, at least not as much as they would have had they still lived at home.

  Maybe she'll just laugh at it with you when you tell her how awful it was? Maybe you can laugh at it together?

  Brian shook his head. He knew his wife very well. She was going to be terribly angry with him because of this. But she might be able to forgive him…in time. At least, he hoped she would.

  She might when she sees how sorry you are.

  Brian walked into the bedroom, not turning the lights on. He took off his pants, and then realized he was standing in some kind of water, his socks getting soaked. Brian sighed, thinking it was that darn toilet that had leaked again, then finally turned the light on in order to size up the damage. He felt annoyed at the prospect of having to spend yet another huge amount of money on a plumber and probably a new toilet.

  If you had only listened to what he told you last time and changed the toilet out for a newer model, this wouldn't have happened.

  "Hope you have a canoe," the bastard plumber had said when he left.

  As the light turned on and Brian looked at his wife, he knew immediately something was wrong. And not just because of the water on the floor. As he stared gaping at his wife's wide-open eyes, he also knew a simple I'm sorry wasn't going to cut it. There would be no relief, no laughing at how stupid this whole thing had been. He was going to be eaten up with guilt for the rest of his miserable life.


  "Alexander is totally into you. Why don't you want to go out with him?"

  Maya sighed and looked at her friend. Christina had been on her case about Alexander for weeks now, but Maya kept telling her she didn't want to date him, or anyone for that matter.

  "I want to focus on school," she said. "We only have six months left, and I want to keep my grades up."

  "Yeah, right," Christina said and sat up on Maya's bed. It was Sunday, and Christina had slept over.

  Maya looked at her friend. "It's the truth."

  "So, now you can't both date someone and get good grades? That's ridiculous," she said.

  Maya sighed and looked at her phone. The truth was that she had decided not to date anyone. Not after she lost both Asgar, her best friend who was madly in love with her, and Samuel who…well, that was a whole different story, but he too was gone, at least she hoped he was. She hadn't seen it for herself, but her mom had assured her he was dead. Maya had been in love with Samuel, and she had almost ended up getting herself and her brother killed. It had broken her heart that he turned out to be who he was and, to be honest, she didn't really trust anyone anymore. It was a whole strange story, and she didn't want Christina to know anything about it. She probably wouldn't understand it anyway.

  "Come on," Christina said. "Just go out with him once. Just one time and then tell me you didn't enjoy it. If you don't do it because you like him, then do it just to look at him. He's so yummy!"

  "Sounds like you should go out with him instead," Maya said and got out of the bed.

  Outside the window, the yard was dressed completely in white. She could see Victor playing with his new friend Skye between the trees. If they were, in fact, playing. It seemed very quiet to be that. They were both sitting in front of the tall trees, eyes closed, legs in a lotus position, looking like they were meditating, backs turned against each other.

  "What are they doing?" Christina asked, looking over Maya's shoulder. Maya sighed and shook her head.

  "I honestly don't know."

  Those kids were so weird, Maya couldn't even begin to explain it to Christina. The way they
were constantly talking to one another without opening their mouths and letting out any sound, and then there was the matter of them lifting things by the power of their minds alone.

  I have the weirdest family in the world.

  There was a light knock on the door, and Maya's mom peeked inside.

  "Good morning, girls. Sleep well?"

  "Yes, Mrs. Frost," Christina said, sounding perky.

  Maya's mom smiled. "Good. Breakfast is already on the table downstairs. The rest of us ate earlier, but we thought we'd let you two sleep in. Help yourself to anything you need. I'll be in my study."

  "Okay, Mom," Maya said, hoping she would just go away before she said something embarrassing. Her mom had just written a book about Samuel and all that had happened to them, and Maya had begged her not to publish it because she didn't want everything that went on in her life to be public. Even though her mother changed the names in the book, people would still know it was her, she believed. Fortunately, her publisher had told her they didn't want to publish it, and Maya had been very thrilled about that, even though it upset her mother visibly. This story was just a little too close to home, she thought. She didn't want her friends to start realizing just how weird her family was. That was why she usually asked Christina if they could sleep over at her house instead, but for some reason, Christina was so fascinated by Maya's mom because she was a writer and famous and all that, that she always begged Maya to have the sleepover at her house.

  "We will. Thank you, Mrs. Frost," Christina said. "Say…are you working on anything interesting lately?"

  Christina had read all of Maya's mom's books, and often she would ask Maya tons of questions about them, especially about the characters and what was going to happen to them. It would annoy Maya greatly. Christina was her mom's number one fan.

  "As a matter of fact, I am," her mom said.