from Chapter 1 of Screwed Over ~
Relieved to have completed the requisite physical activities for her assignment, Cassie couldn’t wait to get out of the costume, shower and sleep forever. But riding down in the elevator she began to worry about all of the little things that can go wrong when an extremely wasted person is left alone. Sure, Dagmar had been fine when Cassie left her snoring away on her stomach, and sure, her unobservant bandmates should have returned from the closed down club hours ago. But she couldn’t think of a single reason (other than walking around barefoot, with crazy hair, no mask on and half a Catwoman costume mostly laced up around her oversexed body) not to put her mind at ease and check on her new friend. Cassie watched the doors open and close again on her floor then she rode back up. As she got closer to the girls’ suite, she could hear the faint, muffled sound of a man’s voice raised in anger. She pressed her ear to the door but couldn’t make out any words. There was definitely a man in there shouting. Stupidly scared that somehow Dagmar had let some asshole breach the security of her room, Cassie pounded on the door like the police.
The man’s voice approached the door and Cassie heard, “. . . that will have to satisfy me until morning then.”
The door swung open three inches, bouncing a bit on the chain, to reveal an angry, red faced MH. Cassie’s jaw dropped. He sputtered for a minute, his mouth having a hard time keeping up with his brain, before saying, “YOU?!?” and slamming the door shut.
Cassie was so shocked to see him she didn’t even react. Running for the stairs might have been prudent. Instead, she just stood there in her bare-ass-feet, mouth hanging open, awaiting whatever was about to befall her. She heard the chain clear the latch. MH whipped the door back open and stood rooted in place, a meter away from Cassie.
“What are you doing here?” he asked, words careful but very slightly slower than normal, anger held tight behind his beautiful, blue-green eyes. He hadn’t shaved in days and Cassie yearned to reach out and stroke the rough stubble that covered much of his face and neck.
“I’m here to check on Dagmar. Is she okay?”
Shaking his head back and forth for a couple of breaths he finally sighed, his shoulders sinking. He leaned back into the room and grabbed a handy trash can, wedging it in the door before joining Cassie in the hall.
“Let me understand. You send me a cryptic fucking text message about my sister needing me, and I rush up here as fast as I fucking can. Silly me, I assumed she’d be awake and you’d still be here to explain what the fuck you were doing spending time with my fucking sister in the first fucking place.”
He waited for her to say something. She didn’t.
He continued, “Only Dagmar is passed out here alone. Has no idea who you are really. She will only say that Selina saved her, is her knight in shining leather. Which I didn’t understand fully until now.”
He looked Cassie up and down, open lust coupled with disgust. Her blood sped up in her veins, the sound of it rushing behind her ears.
“She won’t even consider that you might have been involved, that this was all an elaborate setup to make you look like a hero.”
Cassie felt that one like a knife to her sternum. “Did you tell her that?”
“I suggested it.”
“Maybe you did set all this up just to get to me.” He leaned away from her to see her face better in the sparsely lit hallway. “Did you seriously think I would be stupid enough to fuck you again?”
The brighter light glaring into his face revealed to Cassie just how drunk he was and she cursed her rotten luck at finding him like this.
“Did you think that saving my sister from some unidentified thugs would make me fall harder for you?”
He took a step closer. The veins on his neck bulged out as he clenched his jaw.
Cassie did not want to hear another thing. “Stop.”
“Why?” He mimicked her voice, the way she had sounded asking him the same thing only moments before. “You dressed up like my favorite, Catwoman,” his fingers rose to flick at the mask that she’d rolled up and tied down to her shoulder. “You thought since I’m already hooked you could jerk the line and I would fall totally under your spell. Treacherous snake.”
He took another step closer, and this time Cassie retreated a half step back.
“Look, I didn’t even know you were here, let alone that you like Catwoman. Do you think I have access to your diary or something?”
“You aren’t on a panel and none of your friends on social media have posted anything about this con. Get over yourself.”
“Dagmar must have posted all sorts of things about coming here. Why are you messing with my family?”
“M, I swear. I did not know either of you were going to be anywhere near this con. I met her by accident. I only got her away from those guys because I was terrified of what I saw going down.”
The muscles in his face relaxed a little. He leaned back out of the light and slouched against the wall.
Cassie went on to drive the point home while he was still interested in listening. “I didn’t know you were here.”
MH swallowed while readjusting his thinking to the idea. The implications of what that meant about Cassie’s true agenda here at the con, namely giving some other celebrity a magic carpet ride, occurred to him seconds later. His eyes narrowed and his hands curled into fists.
“Who are you stalking this time? Or is it just open season?”
“Since Dagmar was able to fill you in on the evening’s activities, I’ll assume she’s well.” Cassie spun on her heel and took two steps toward the elevator.
“Hold on,” he said, using only one giant stride to reach her. He laid both his hands on the wall to either side of her head and leaned down in her face. “Or is your mission a fait d’acompli?”
Cassie couldn’t say a word and cursed her body for responding to his nearness with a rush of lust rather than the detached uncaring pose she wanted to show him. Something in her face must have given her away.
“Already scratched your itch then. Who is the unlucky bastard?” MH leaned in quite close to her, and she wondered if the crazy man was restraining himself from kissing her. “Maybe I could extend him my sympathies in advance of your article. Give him a little heads up before his life implodes.”
She finally found her voice. “Sorry, no advance spoilers without a premium membership. You’ll just have to read my next column.”
“Not good enough, Cassie.”
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