Hola! Welcome to this week’s Risky Retreat! Here you can find a teaser of the romance, drama, and suspense that flow through my pages when I write. Even though this is only a teaser it will still feed your need to read. Some of these stories are coming soon, some are available now, and some are simply free short stories I wanted to share with you! Enjoy and don’t forget to check back in two weeks for the next Risky Retreat!
Hot Stakes part 2
‘Ten minutes before Melissa’s call’
Jonathon closed his laptop, pushed back from his desk and stretched. Melissa was supposed to call him on her last break, but she never did. They must be really busy it had been an hour since her break and still nothing. Should he call her at work? He wondered about that for a minute going back and forth over it. It was her first night, maybe it was tacky to already be calling. However, Melissa wasn’t answering her phone, it was probably dead like always. She would be on it all day and never charge it. It was one of his pet peeves. A man should always be able to get in touch with his woman, he thought.
“Forget it I’m calling,” he said.
He scrolled to her name tapping the number located under ‘work’. Yes, it was programmed the day Melissa got the job. Jonathon had taken her out to celebrate. It didn’t matter to him that she would be waitressing; a job was a job as far as he was concerned. The phone rang seven times and no one answered. A sparkle from the ring sitting on the night stand caught his attention. Wedding bells were in their future, but first he had to ask her. The ring was one Melissa pointed out some time ago. She was a big window shopper. Times were hard and since the economic meltdown a few years ago, they pinch pennies to stay afloat. That meant no extra spending; every dime was accounted for, but Jonathon spent extra on this ring. He went to Kay Jewelers and purchased it soon as his bonus check cleared the bank.
The little suede black box sat in the middle of his hand while thoughts of going to the restaurant ran through his mind. He closed and opened the box, back to back, finally putting it in his pocket.
“I’ll give her a few more minutes before I call again,” he said to himself.
He walked to the kitchen and opened the refrigerator taking out a Budweiser. It was just what he needed to get his creative juices to flow so he could finish this article on what women should always know about a man. Jonathon is a writer for the Centennial newspaper in Rome Georgia. Writing has always given him a sense of release, no matter the subject. Putting the bottle to his lips, Jonathon took a long swig of his brew. If Melissa were here to see him she would start quoting bible scriptures at him.
“You know the bible says; Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit.” Then Jonathon would rebuttal, “I’m not getting drunk, and Jesus turned water into wine so don’t tell me there is something wrong with drinking.” But Melissa would come right back at him, “Jesus turned water into wine at a wedding for a celebration. In another instance wine was to be drunk for an illness. But nowhere does it say, drink whenever you want.”
“Neither does it say you can’t drink whenever you want, it only talks about being drunk.”
Melissa would stare him down and he would eventually give in. His phone rang bringing him out of his memory. He pulled it out of his pocket, it was Melissa’s cell. Finally she charged it, he thought.
“I was wondering when you were going to call me.”
That was all he could manage to say before the shriek in Melissa’s voice yelled out about calling the police. Her phone hung up before she could finish her sentence, the Budweiser went crashing to the floor as Jonathon sprang into action. Grabbing his Ruger SP101 from their night stand drawer, Jonathon checked the chamber. It was loaded; he put a spin to it and reached for his holster. His footsteps were heavy and demanding like a giant running through the house, the walls shook with each hefty step on the hardwood floors. With keys in hand, Jonathon went out the door jumping into his old school 1969 Chevy Camaro. It roared to life, when his foot hit the accelerator the tires screeched and spun kicking up dust from the asphalt. The car lurched forward with determination. Jonathon had everything he needed except his phone he left next to the broken bottle of Budweiser on the kitchen floor.
‘Hot Stakes Sports bar and grill’
Sanchez and his crew meant business. The fact that this was taking too long sent more rage coursing through the gang. The man Sanchez shot through the car window was red on one side of his body as the blood from his wound coursed out of him onto his clothes.
“Help me get him up,” Sanchez said.
The two wing men stepped up trying to lift the big man. He squealed like a child but didn’t challenge their efforts, neither did he try and stand on his own two feet. Too much pain roam through him and he was feeling light headed the longer the minutes passed by. With no patience left, Sanchez smack the man with the M1911 causing him to topple over to the ground.
“Boss!” Camille said.
“What?” Sanchez growled.
“We won’t get anything out of him if you hit him again. He looks almost dead.” Camille said.
Tony agreed with her shaking his head up and down but never uttering a word. Sanchez didn’t care, he would get his questions answered one way or the other, then he would kill them all. Never would he leave a witness alive once they saw his face and he wasn’t about to start today. The gang half carried, half drug the man from the car down to the basement of Hot Stakes. Once there, Sanchez barked;
“Throw him into the door.”
Tony and Camille lifted the heavy man and did what Sanchez asked. The man’s body bounced off of the thick wooden door causing him to scream in agony.
“Do it again!” Sanchez yelled.
On the other side of the door, Latasha and Melissa stared in horror. They could hear Latasha’s date yelling and they knew he was hurt bad. The door shook harder each time the man was thrown into it.
“We can’t just leave him out there,” Melissa said.
“So what do you propose we do?” Latasha whispered.
“We have to open the door, they’re gonna kill him.” Melissa said.
“You must be crazy! Do you have a death wish? They’re gonna kill us if we open that door. I’m all for helping somebody out but not at the expense of my own life!” Latasha yelled.
The door shook again rattling the frame.
“Latasha, they’re going to kill him!”
Latasha bit down on her bottom lip. Melissa was right; if they didn’t open that door that man would die if he wasn’t dead already.
“Who’s to say they won’t kill us all?” Latasha said.
Melissa’s insides were churning. There was no way she could live with herself if she didn’t help that man. She didn’t want to die, but Jesus said; “love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to laydown one’s life for one’s friends.” With that in mind she took quick steps toward the door.
“What are you doing?” Latasha said.
“I’m opening the door, maybe we can reason with them.”
Latasha jumped towards her, yanking her hands from the door. She slapped Melissa across her face multiple times.
“You have gone completely insane! You aint gonna kill me today with your self-righteous self!”
Melissa struggled to get Latasha away, but her friend had a vice grip on her shaking Melissa around making her dizzy. They tussled some more and fell to the ground. Melissa’s head hurt even more now.
“Okay, Okay!” Melissa said defeated.
Latasha stood to her feet, she pointed at Melissa; “Don’t ever do that again.” The seriousness made Melissa wonder if she was crazy enough to hurt her if she did try it again. This was her friend, but in a life and death situation a friend could be an enemy.
“So you can live with yourself if that man dies, you’re the reason he’s here you know?” Melissa said.
Latasha’s face frowned, the audacity of Melissa to make it seem like it was her fault pissed her off. If steam was visible, Melissa would see it coming out of Latasha’s ears.
“Oh no you didn’t! How can you even fix your lips to say it’s my fault? I thought you’re supposed to be a Christian?” She mocked.
Instantly, Melissa felt bad, it irritated her when people acted like Christians were perfect when no one is. Her head fell into her hands, she rubbed her temples. The knots on her head felt pretty big, they would be sore and swollen for days if she made it out of this situation alive.
“Listen,” Melissa said “I didn’t mean to make it sound like it’s your fault I’m just trying to get you to help me help him. I love you girl, I don’t want to fight we need to figure out how we’re going to get out of this situation.
Latasha’s breathing slowed. She’d been huffing and puffing trying to catch her breath after that little tussle. Exasperated, her arms went up in the air. “We need to look around these boxes for something to protect ourselves with, let’s find whatever we can use until the cops get here.”
“How do you know the police are on their way?” Melissa asked.
“Didn’t you say Jonathon answered the phone?”
“Yes, but it died; I don’t know how much he heard…” Latasha cut her off, “It doesn’t matter, I’m sure he heard the distress in your voice and not being able to get in touch with you should be enough.”
Melissa felt better about that, but Latasha wasn’t so sure; even though she said it and was hopeful, she also had doubts but she needed to tell herself everything would be okay. Getting off the ground, Melissa took a look around the basement. It was hard to focus with the constant beating against the door and the man screaming on the outside, so she talked to God as she searched for a way out. Latasha moved boxes around and these were not small boxes, they were heavy. The basement was dimly lit and stuffy with a musty odor. It was the size of a large studio apartment; a pallet lay to the right corner half covered with long plastic sheets. Some of the boxes were open and you could tell the basement was used primarily for storage.
“What is in these things?” she said. Spotting a chair in the corner she yelled; “Quick, grab that chair!”
Melissa ran to it. “What are we going to do with a chair?”
Latasha took it out of her hands and placed the chair under the door knob. The door continued to rattle. “If they get that door down you think that chair will stop them?” Melissa said.
“Of course it won’t hold for long but it will buy us more time. What have you come up with genius except for complaints?” Latasha responded.
Melissa sighed, her friend was agitated and she wasn’t making it any better. What was she supposed to do? One way or the other the thugs would get in and then what?
“Why are you just standing there?” Latasha asked. “Are you going to help me or not?
“Latasha I don’t mean to sound prude, but we should figure out what we will say when they get the door open.”
“UGH!!!!!!!!!!!” Latasha screamed. “What is wrong with you? Do you seriously think they want to talk?”
“Maybe we can pay them off; I don’t know I’m trying to think of something, anything! I can’t take the noise and the beating that man is getting out there! Don’t you even care what God may think if we let him die?”
“Are we talking about this again? I thought we were over this.” Latasha said.
“How can we be with that man being thrown into the door every five seconds? If they kill me fine, I know where I’m going.” Melissa said.
“And what about me!” Latasha said. “You’re deciding both of our fates if you open that door and that is not fair! Who do you think you are?”
Then it hit Melissa like a ton of bricks. Her friend was terrified, Latasha had no clue where she was going and it made Melissa feel selfish for a moment. So busy trying to be the hero, she hadn’t stop to think about her friends eternity. Standing across from Melissa, Latasha was heated. How could her friend suggest this? She didn’t want to die, she trembled on the inside; she hadn’t spoken to God since…. she wasn’t sure when, but Latasha had a clear vision of him kicking her out of Heaven. With all she had done, there was no way she was getting in, so she thought. Her fist balled up, Latasha would fight Melissa to the death before she let her open that door.
Melissa took steps toward Latasha with her arms out pulling her in for a tight embrace. “I’m sorry,” she said. “I wasn’t thinking, that was selfish of me.”
Latasha relaxed and her head dropped to Melissa’s shoulder. Tears fell from her eyes; she shook and hugged Melissa back.
“I know I’ve asked you this before today Latasha but you seemed to have avoided the question so I’ll ask you again, are you saved?”
Latasha stepped back from her, “Is that when you say you believe in Jesus?
Melissa smirked, “Something like that, you have to confess with your mouth Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart God raised him from the dead.”
Latasha shook her head up and down, “I did that about four years ago, but I’ve fell off since then, the things I have done God won’t approve of, I mean I tried to be good but it just doesn’t work for me.”
“Your works is not how you get into Heaven, if that was the case we would all be doomed because none of us are perfect.” Melissa said.
Latasha started rambling on and on until the next hit against the door sent a loud crack down the edge of it, the chair fell to the floor. The two girls screamed. Latasha ran for cover hiding behind one of the boxes that was ducked off behind all the other boxes. Shocked by the interruption Melissa was frozen in place. Gun shots rang out and the door gave way falling face forward to the ground. Dust particles flew in, some hitting Melissa in the face, Sanchez ordered his to goons to throw Latasha’s date in the room. Camille lifted his right side while Tony lifted his left. They tossed the man in the room; he went flying past Melissa crashing into the wooden pallet. The man didn’t make a sound; he was either dead or unconscious.
“What do you want?” Melissa asked.
“We’ve been after you all night,” Sanchez said. He tsk, “Now you’ve put all your friends in trouble trying to get away from us. The thing is; folks always try and get away from us but they never do. You would be no different. Do you know how much time I’ve wasted; now someone has to make up for that.”
“Boss,”Tony said, “We’re missing someone, wasn’t there two girls?”
“No there’s just me.” Melissa said.
“Nice try,” Camille said “now where is the other girl?”
Melissa didn’t budge. “I’ll tell you what Sanchez said. He walked up to Melissa and grabbed her neck snatching her under his hot breath. “Your friend has twenty seconds to show her face or the next bullet is going through your pretty little head.”
Latasha stopped breathing, her eyes watered she was completely freaked out. It was now or never.
**Hot Stakes is a free story. **
Get information on new contest, book releases, appearances, and a sneak peek at the finale of Hot Stakes on the next Risky Retreat by clicking the link below!