Diamond [Cut Glass Jewels Book 1]
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by Linda Mooney
Category: Erotica/Erotic Fantasy/Fantasy
Description: Forget everything you think you know about mass murderers and crimes of passion, because most killers don't wake up one morning, grab the nearest shotgun or axe, and proceed to hack apart their loved ones. Many do it because they're infected with a jewel. Once the destructive creature takes over a host's body, that person dies, leaving the jewel in total control to thrive on fear and horror. Cutler Glass is a lapidary, one of an unknown group of people who've dedicated their lives to destroying jewels. Except this time the jewel she's assigned to go after, a diamond, has infected a very wealthy and influential man who has hired police protection. When Detective David Fellowes clashes with Cutler, it's going to take more than her explanation before he believes such an outlandish tale.
eBook Publisher: Whiskey Creek Press, 2011
eBookwise Release Date: July 2011
2 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [377 KB]
Reading time: 238-333 min.
"You're gonna die, bitch!"
Oh, yeah. He's definitely pissed. Cutler flashed him another smile which she knew would irritate the snot out of him, but that would be to her advantage.
The creature was breathing heavily, clearly showing his growing exhaustion as he circled his opponent. Not too many days ago the blood-covered figure used to be a man by the name of Henson Del Toro. Had been, until the jewel invaded his body and took it over. Since then the man had gone on a killing rampage, taking out four innocent victims as well as his aged mother and father.
"Come on, bitch," the jewel hissed, curling his fingers at her. "Let's end this right here and now." Spittle dotted his lips and chin. He was weakening, but he was far from being finished.
At least he thought so.
Cutler grinned again. "If you caught me, what would you do with me?" As if she already didn't know.
"You don't frighten me, lapie!"
"Oh, yeah, like I'm gonna let a pissy little peridot like you go off and take out some other frail old woman who doesn't have the energy to lift herself out of bed, much less fight off someone like you!" Cutler taunted. "What's the matter, jewel? No balls to take on the big girls?"
Before the jewel could growl an answer, she feinted to the left, then rolled to the right, missing the overhand swing meant for her neck and throat. Smoothly getting back onto her feet, Cutler grabbed his balancing arm with both hands and gave it a vicious jerk. The bone slipped out of the joint with a pleasant popping sound.
The jewel screamed in rage and pain. He reached around with his other hand where Cutler neatly caught it by the wrist. Placing one foot at his waist, she pulled as she fell backwards, rolling easily onto her buttocks, then to her back, neatly executing the roll while bringing the jewel with her. The impetus surprised the creature, and it didn't struggle as both of her booted feet planted themselves in the middle of his abdomen.
The jewel went up and over as slick as any practiced fall on the WWF. As he landed on his back with a satisfying woof, Cutler swiftly turned over and straddled him. The two thin blades she pulled from the inner pockets of her blue jean vest were plunged into the man's palms, pinning them to the decking. It was all over except for the fat lady singing.
"Any final words, hard ass?" she sweetly asked, leaning over him.
Normally if she had the jewel in this position, the creature would either struggle, vainly trying to release itself, or let go with a torrent of profanity that would sear the paint off the walls. She should have remembered her own advice: every kill is different.
The last thing she expected was for the man to lunge upward and grab a mouthful of her blouse. Jerking his head back and up, the silk tore with a soft scream. Cutler clutched the remnants and gasped at its audacity. That did it. Now she was pissed! "Hey, I paid good money for this blouse!" she yelled.
Taking the man's head between her hands, she viciously twisted it. The spine snapped, but it didn't mean the jewel was dead. It wouldn't die until she had eaten every bit of it.
No longer attached to the spine, the head came off of the body with a snap of muscle and skin, stretching until the fragile connections finally let go. Blood spewed everywhere, pulsing in thin, crimson arcs as the heart refused to give up. The once white deck chairs now looked like Andy Warhol had thrown a can of paint at them. Rich scarlet ran down the legs like red sweat.
A lot of it splattered on her, but Cutler was used to it. In fact she sometimes reveled in the splatter. The more blood coming out of a defeated jewel, the quicker the creature would emerge from its host, and the easier it would be for her to devour.
Already the greenish jewel was struggling out of its human glove. Cutler calmly watched the semi-precious as it began to emerge like a butterfly from a chrysalis, except that this butterfly was as caustic and dangerous as it was beautiful to behold. In the late evening sunlight its almost emerald-cast body glistened.
She waited for another handful of seconds, admiring its sleek elegance and its nearly pure evergreen color. Unlike some peridots she had faced in the past, this one had given her her money's worth. A very worthy adversary, this one. She wouldn't soon forget it.
The head was tossed to the side where it ended up by the gas grill. Cutler grabbed the emerging jewel and bent over it. Already her teeth had hardened, prepared for the feast. "Say 'goodnight, Gracie'," she murmured, and bit into the crystalline creature.
The peridot shrieked, renting the pure March air. No matter. They were more than thirty miles from civilization, and heavens knew how far from the nearest cabin. The jewel would never know how well he had accommodated Cutler by choosing to flee to his host's weekend retreat in the Colorado mountains. Obviously the creature had believed he could escape from her by hiding out at his well-hidden vacation home. Instead, it had been the perfect place for Cutler to take her time with the man without the fear of discovery.
The jewel fought her, to no avail. Cutler continued to gorge on the creature, crunching through its solid membrane skull that was so green it would make Erin proud. She devoured the head first, following it with the faux arms and shoulders. True jewels didn't have discernible body parts. They assumed their host's features once they invaded, so that when they emerged, they resembled a molded, semisolid version of the man or woman.
By the time she got to its waist, the jewel had stopped squirming. She continued to eat, not stopping to chew or savor the rich, blood-smeared gem. She couldn't. Some lapidaries developed a taste for their job. It was rumored that those who did were among the better cutters. The elite. If that was true, Cutler was happy to remain one of minor achievers. Maybe Bar would give her a few less missions because of it.
Bite. Crunch. Swallow. Sometimes she had to chew, but only if the piece was too big to swallow.
She worked as quickly as she could, dragging the now-dead jewel the rest of the way out of its human skin. It slid out, making wet, sucking noises as it emerged. Waist. Hips. Buttocks. Now both legs. The remains of the creature roiled in her stomach in a toxic soup. She would have to get away from the scene of the crime as soon as possible and to some place safe where she could vomit.
Shakily, Cutler got to her feet and stumbled from the deck overlooking a panoramic view of Pike's Peak. She went through the house, not minding if she left behind a trail of bloody footprints or any handprints. When the scene was finally discovered, the cops wouldn't find anything to lead them to her. Technically, to the world, Cutler Glass did not exist.
She made it to the front door then out to the driveway. Del Toro's slick little foreign import sat on the dirt turnaround, and she held the keys in her hands.
As she slid under the wheel, Cutler caught a glimpse of herself in the rearview mirror. She looked tired and disheveled. So what else was new? She deliberately kept her dark hair short. It was easier to manage, and it was one less thing for jewels to grab on to during a struggle. Her eyes were blue, but there was nothing impressive about their color. Her features were ordinary and average. And smeared with gore. A fleck of green glistened above the left side of her lip. She licked it away as she gunned the engine.
Her gorge was beginning to rise. She had to find a secluded spot, and soon. It wouldn't be good business practice to upchuck on the victim's leather upholstery.
She raced the little car over the mountain road. The two-lane asphalt was narrow and deserted, just the way she liked it. She'd left the top down, not a wise decision, she knew, considering her present state. Still, she loved the way the cold wind ran its fingers over her scalp and through her hair. She swiped the back of her hand across her mouth, smearing coagulating blood. Another glance in the mirror told her she'd only made herself look worse.
She kept her speed down, not because she was worried about being pulled over by a patrol officer. Worse. She was afraid of hitting a deer or moose or, God forbid, a bear emerging silently and unexpectedly from the woods which bordered the blacktop. Especially at this time of the day when the spring sun remained a couple of hours longer in the evening sky.
Cutler caught sight of the logging road up ahead. Her watch told her the loggers would have left for home by now, which would be perfect. The sour burning in her gut was close to exploding.
She slowed down and eased the car onto the dirt lane, and followed it through strands of birch and pine until she reached the wide enclosure where two long flatbeds were being loaded. Stopping the car, she hurried into the nearest grove of trees and fell to her knees. She retched once, twice, until bright little grass-green pebbles of the partially-digested jewel flew out of her mouth. Again she vomited, and her stomach sent up more shards of the peridot she'd eaten, spilling onto the thin layer of leaves and pine needles.
Over and over Cutler vomited, until the ground was covered with miniature pieces of the gemstone. When the last of it had been regurgitated, she sat back on her heels, hawked, spat, and wiped her mouth again with the back of her hand. Tomorrow when the loggers came back to work they would find the abandoned car. A quick trace would lead the authorities to the Del Toro residence and the man's body. They would also find his last victim's remains, as well. Cutler made sure of it.
By that time she would be several hundred miles away, untraceable and untrackable. God, what she wouldn't give for a cold beer right now to get that thing's putrid taste out of her mouth.
Cutler pulled the ziplock bag from her jacket pocket, opened it, selected one of the bigger pieces of the peridot and dropped it in the baggie, wiping her fingers on her jeans. That done, she stuffed the whole thing into her hip pocket.
She already felt better with the toxic jewel out of her system. Glancing down at the ground, she could see the remains were starting to turn brown. They would eventually turn black before dissolving into the moist dirt. By morning there would be no trace left.
Heavens knew how far it was to the next town. Didn't matter, though. Cutler liked to walk. It gave her a chance to cleanse herself both physically and mentally.
It was getting chillier. The clouds were gray and low, threatening snow. The air smelled of pine and ozone, making Cutler smile as she took another deep sniff.
She looked back down at her shredded top. She didn't like wearing bras. They tended to impede her movements whenever she fought a jewel. And right now it was very evident she wasn't wearing anything beneath the blood-drenched aquamarine top--or what was left of it.
"Dammit. That was my favorite blouse, too. Oh, well." She shrugged.
The sooner she found a small stream or water supply, the sooner she could clean up. Until then she would need to keep off the beaten track and away from inquisitive eyes. Her duffel was waiting for her at the cheap motel. She planned to grab it and the next flight to Houston.
Despite her ruined shirt, it had been a good day.
"Good job, girlfriend," she mumbled to herself as she ambled over the uneven road back to the blacktop. "Another psychotic murderer is out of the picture."