His voice sounded like velvet; rich and dark it whispered over her skin. She luxuriated
under the folds of his words, erudite sentences that enveloped her in their warmth,
massaging the tension from between her shoulder blades and holding her captive.
She could hear the strength of feeling running like a thread through every impassioned
word, the top note of pride, the back note of frustration and always, always the
undertone of love. Her heart fluttered and her soul sighed.
She shut out the chaos around her. She couldn’t identify an accent but that delighted
rather than frustrated her. It was part of the mystery: a back story beneath the velvet to
be mined and explored.
His words tumbled through her ear and into her heart. She was a cat basking in the sun,
purring under the extravagance of his attention. What must it be like to hear that voice
every day, to let that dark and mellifluous tone pull you in, hold you close and caress you. A tingle ran down her spine.
He stopped talking. The silence was a needle of discomfort, pricking her conscience.
‘You’re not my sister, are you?’
‘No, I’m not.’
‘I’ve dialled the wrong number, haven’t I?’
‘Yes, you have… but can I just say,’ she paused, desperate to hold him within her ambit for a while longer. ‘I think your sister is a lucky lady to have a brother who cares about her so much and that man she’s with sounds like a complete waste of space and I agree with you about goatee beards. What are they about? As you say, if you’re going to grow a beard, be a man about it and grow a proper one. Have you got one?’ The words were out before she could stop them.
‘No. I’m clean shaven.’
‘Oh good. I mean…’ She faltered.
‘What’s your name?’ There was a smile in his voice now.
‘Hello Anita. I’m Sebastian. I’m really sorry about this. I was talking to my sister on my mobile and the battery died and I grabbed the landline and just hit redial. I’ve dialled the pizza parlour on the High Street, haven’t I?’
‘Are you hungry?’ she asked, hopefully. Please say yes, please say yes.
‘Now you come to mention it, I could eat a Quattro Formaggi.’
Thirty three choices of toppings and he’d chosen her favourite. It was kismet. ‘Home delivery or will you pick up?’ Her voice quivered as she crossed her fingers.
© 2015 by Ellie Holmes
Listen to Your Heart
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Cassie turned her head. She hadn’t heard anyone come in until a man had started singing along with the song on the radio. ‘You do know you can’t sing, don’t you?’ Cassie said.
The man chuckled. ‘It never stopped them.’
‘I think you’ll find they had other things going for them.’
‘What like good looks and charm?’ He laughed.
‘I was thinking more of them being in the right place at the right time. They were in the vanguard of the Punk movement.’
‘Aren’t you a little young to know anything about the Punk movement?’
‘We did it in Media Studies.’
‘Of course you did.’
The hessian hood Cassie had been forced to wear for three days and two nights was suddenly lifted away. She blinked rapidly, quickly taking in her surroundings. The room seemed smaller than when she’d scoped it out on arrival.
‘When they come to take me to the toilet they don’t usually remove the hood,’ she said warily as she studied the man in front of her. Dressed in ripped jeans and a red tee shirt, he was in his mid-thirties, with long hair and stubble.
‘Just as well I’m not here to take you to the toilet then.’
‘What are you here to do?’ Cassie asked trying to keep the undertow of fear from her voice.
Cassie’s heart leapt with joy. ‘I knew my brother would send someone for me.’ She saw a look of concern flash across the man’s eyes.
‘We need to go.’
‘Wait! I need my satchel.’
‘I’m sure a woman of your means can buy another bag,’ he said as he cut the plastic ties that bound her wrists.
‘Plenty but none that contain an ancient manuscript. We can’t leave without it.’
‘We have to!’ The man grabbed her arm.
Pulling herself free, Cassie stood her ground.
The man glared at her. ‘We can either make a break for it now and come back for your precious manuscript later or we can stay and get caught. Which would you prefer? And before you make up your mind you should know I don’t work for your brother but the men holding you do.’
© 2015 by Ellie Holmes
Knight in Ripped Denim
Terry Mason scrambled up the ancient brick wall and let himself down gently on the other side. The imposing country house loomed like a monolith in front of him dipping in and out of the moonlight as the bitter January wind lanced across his face. Not for the first time Terry found himself thinking there had to be better ways to make a living.
‘Are you going to help us?’ Milo asked in a furious whisper from the top of the wall.
Terry turned to see Milo’s friend Guy struggling to get a foothold.
‘In a minute,’ he said. ‘Wait there.’
The dog came bounding around the corner of the house; a streak of muscle and energy. The Cunningham-Carters were old school. Alsatians not Rottweilers. Terry liked that.
As it approached, the dog started to growl. Terry dropped to his haunches, calling softly. The dog paused, cocking its head, intrigued. Gently, Terry coaxed the dog forwards until it was within touching distance.
‘Hello my beauty,’ he whispered and bent to kiss the dog’s noble head. Then, he reached into his pocket for the chicken leg he’d concealed earlier. The Alsatian snatched it and lopped off.
Terry turned to help the others into the garden.
‘How did you learn to do that?’ Milo asked impressed.
‘Practice,’ Terry said tersely.
‘A lot of dogs in Basildon, not all the four legged kind!’ Guy quipped as he dangled from the wall.
Terry took his hands away and let Guy tumble into the brambles. Serve him right for dissing Essex girls.
‘Your friend’s a liability,’ he said to Milo.
‘Always has been,’ Milo agreed. ‘But he’s the only one who knows what the necklace looks like.’
‘Lighten up,’ Milo said. ‘You help us get his mother’s diamonds back and we’ll get you into every society party for the next six months. A cat burglar’s wet dream.’
‘What were you doing gambling with your mother’s diamonds in the first place?’
‘I’d already bet and lost Daddy’s Rolex.’
Terry shook his head. Give him Basildon any day.
He sprinted across to the house and began to work the lock of the kitchen door. Milo joined him, breathless.
‘Where’s Mr. Trust Fund?’ Terry asked.
‘Right behind me,’ Milo said confidently.
‘I say, Terence!’ Guy’s voice came from the direction of the lawn. ‘You know that trick you did with the dog? Does it work on security guards...with guns?’
© 2015 by Ellie Holmes
It Started With a Kiss
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