Preview of Michael Faust (A Lazarus Cane Novel)

Getting the new book to publication is taking a long time, so for my devoted fans, I am going to post a few chapters for your enjoyment. Here is the Prologue which I previously posted on my Goodreads blog. I will post Chapter one next.

 

Enjoy!

 

Prologue

 

Ellie Morris emerged from her ornately carved creek stone shower.  Its dual showerheads and steam vents cleansed her deeply tanned and curved body and left her feeling refreshed.

She barely had time to grab her thick oversized white towel before the phone began ringing.   She waited for him to call for nearly two hours before she decided to take a shower – knowing that as soon as she did, he would. Haphazardly wrapping the towel around her wet frame, she grabbed the phone off the vanity.

“Hey, Babe,” she said as looked herself over in the mirror.  She fluffed her long brown hair as it dripped onto the floor, paying no mind to it – the maid would clean up after her.

Across the bathroom she had installed full-length mirrors – allowing  herself  both  a front and back view while getting ready in the morning.  Ellie Morris took a great deal of pride in the way she looked.  She came from a mixed white and Hispanic family.  Her mother was one of Miami’s best Spanish-speaking defense lawyers, and her dad was the most prominent developer of waterfront property in the city.

Ellie Morris was groomed from birth to marry rich. She paid very close attention to every detail of her body.  Her husband only saw her at her best.  As a well-respected business analyst, Henry Morris spent most of his time on the road, which Ellie did not mind.  It allowed her time to tend to their home, without having to perform her wifely duties.

Henry Morris was a deep, caring man, and though he worked out often, he had a squirrelly face and balding head.  Luckily for him, Ellie Morris did not have a huge desire for sex.  She contemplated taking a lover from time to time.  Nor was she without offers.  Money excited her more than sex; so, if a wealthier man came along who was better looking than Henry, she might consider it.

For now, she was happy.  Henry provided well for them.  Their modern stucco home sat on a large canal with their forty-foot boat docked along the edge of the backyard.  She had everything a girl could want – at least for the moment. She had no desire for children and neither did Henry, but if that changed, she would have to seriously consider whether or not she wanted to risk having children with half of his genetic code.

“I am so sorry, Gorgeous.  I got stuck in a meeting with a guy who would not stop talking – even after he knew the conversation was over,” Henry said in a breathy voice.

“It’s not a problem, Babe.  I was just getting out of the shower. How are things in…ahh,” she said, trying to remember where he said he was flying.  She finished drying herself off and discarded the towel into the hamper along the side of the vanity.  Ellie Morris never used the same towel twice.

“Dallas, remember?” he said mockingly. “And things are pretty good.  I think I got the account.”

“That is great, Baby.  I am so proud of you,” she said, stroking his ego while she swayed her hips from side to side, admiring her naked body in the mirrors.  “So, are you taking your clients out tonight?”

“You know how this job is.”

“I know,” she pouted.  She really did not care that he amused his clients at strip clubs, but she thought that a wife should act concerned about her husband being grinded on by some slut; so, she faked it.

“When are you coming home?”

“Tuesday,” he replied.  “It sucks that I’ll have to stay in this town all weekend, but their board meets on Monday, so I’ll have to present then,” he paused for a moment.  “If you want, I guess I could fly home for the weekend.”

“No, I don’t want you to have to fly home and then turn around and fly back.  Besides, you’re going to be out late tonight; then you’d be flying home tomorrow just to get here late on Saturday and leave early on Sunday. You’d be so tired that you would be of no use to me.”

“You’re right, Babe.  Maybe I can check and see if the Cowboys are playing at home this weekend.”

“That sounds…” Ellie drew in a quick breath.  “Did you hear that?” she asked, as she moved cautiously toward the door leading out to her bedroom. She pulled her hair over her right shoulder – leaving only her left breast exposed.

“Honey, did you take your medication today?” he asked in a disappointed tone.

“Yes, Dear,” she retorted.  “I am not being paranoid;  I just heard a noise coming from the bedroom.”

For several weeks, Ellie Morris felt as though she was being watched.  For a while’d Henry believed her.  He went so far as to have cameras placed throughout their home.  Lately, she begun hearing voices – whispers at first, then footsteps.  Some nights she would wake up and swear that somebody had been fondling her.

Of course, all of this took place while Henry was on the road.  He offered to install a webcam in their bedroom so that he could see her while he was away, but she staunchly refused.  Henry was disappointed.

After months of listening to her rattle on about ghosts, Henry took her to a professional.  Paranoid delusions brought on by stress, was the doctor’s diagnosis – the thought of being alone in their big house triggered auditory hallucinations. Ellie Morris did not agree with the doctor, but she took the medication anyway. Paired with a good Cabernet, it made a very nice sleep aid.

“Ellie, we have been over this.  That house has higher security than Fort Knox.  There is nobody in the house.”

“I didn’t say there was somebody in the house.  I said I heard a noise in the bedroom,” she sighed, knowing that she should not fight with her husband while he was away – a good wife does not do such things. “I’m sorry, Honey.  I don’t want to fight.  It was probably just a boat passing by on the canal.”

“That’s my girl,” he smiled.  “Why don’t you get a glass of wine and rest yourself?  I will call you tomorrow.”

“Okay, Baby,” she answered coyly.  “I love you.”

“I love you, too.”

Ellie hung up the phone and sighed loudly.  She did not think she was having delusions, but how would she really know? If a tree falls in the woods…

She walked through the bedroom and on into the hallway towards Henry’s study – not bothering to dress.  They had several wine racks around the house, but the best bottles were kept in the study, away from where their dinner guests could see them.  Henry did not have many pet peeves, but watching inexperienced wine drinkers gulp his prized bottles made him want to vomit.

She selected a nice Cabernet and navigated the mounted corkscrew with less irritation than normal; she wasn’t used to having to open her own bottles. When Henry would tell her, “go have a glass of wine” while he was away, he meant “get one of the good bottles, Sexy.  You’re worth it.”  Those were the only times she was allowed to grab whatever bottle her heart desired, and she took advantage of it.

She savored the aroma as she leaned her bare body over the bar.  A soft smile crept over her face by the time she was ready to take the first sip.  She tried to let all the worry wash over her.  Despite the pills and the wine she still felt like someone was watching.

She had called a paranormal investigator – without her husband’s knowledge.  She was hoping that he could come this weekend, but the man was very flighty and had already missed two appointments.  He was not rescheduled to be there until tomorrow.  Henry could claim ‘delusions’ all he wanted, but Ellie Morris was certain something else was going on.

She made her way back down the hall to her room and on into the bathroom.  She finished her first glass of wine while brushing her hair and applying various lotions.  She was finished grooming by the end of her second glass.  She walked into the bedroom while dumping the rest of the bottle into her glass.

Setting the glass on the dresser, Ellie began walking toward her closet – when she was stopped, abruptly.  Standing alongside her bed, she had run into a wall of air.

She could not move it.

Carefully she reached out with one hand. She pressed against it, like a mime’s interpretation of being stuck in a box. As she felt for edges, she realized that the wall’s texture was that of a man’s skin.

Ellie Morris’ hand pressed on what felt like ripped, steel abdominal muscles.  It did not have the feel of Henry’s soft stomach – this was hard and chiseled.  Part of her wanted to move her hand downward; her heart was suddenly pounding out of her chest.  Instead, she moved both hands upward – feeling large chest muscles, and becoming more aroused by the second.

Looking down, then up, Ellie Morris tried to make sense of it.  Her sense of vision was not agreeing with her sense of touch.  She felt as though she should be able to see the edges, or some kind of distortion in the air – there was none.  If it was a ghostly man standing in front of her, he was large.  His chest was taller than her, and his neck was almost out of reach.

Her head strained upward to where his head ought to be.  Ellie Morris slid one hand down the unseen figure and floated her other hand down her own flat stomach.  After all, how many opportunities would she have to feel up a ghost? She reached his large and fully erect manhood while caressing her own completely shaved genitals, but her arousal quickly mutated into blinding fear as her gaze met his.

There, floating in front of her, staring down at her, were the blackest eyes she had ever seen.  Just a hint of green encircled them.  Ellie could feel their wretched intent.  She wanted to run, but the floating eyes held her.  It was too late, anyway.

Ellie Morris stared in disbelief as her hands were clasped.  In less than a second she was spun around – her arms bound behind her.  She could see her own frightened reflection in the mirror – wrists crossed around her back, her face pressed into the bedding.  She could still feel the carpet under her toes as the ghost kicked her heels in opposite directions.

“Why are you doing this?” she cried, attempting to lift her head.  “I might have let you.”

The dark, haughty voice that cracked in response sounded like a man who had not his cleared throat.  It was a sinister, thundering voice- unlike anything Ellie Morris had ever heard.

“And what fun would that be?”

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