A Wanton Woman(3)

By: Vanessa Vale


“It’s my husband!” she hissed, but couldn’t move, tied as she was to the bed and John behind her.

The man came up the steps, his heavy tread sounding as if he took them two at a time. The bedroom door swung so hard it slammed into the wall. I jumped and gasped, then bit my lip. A big man stood in the doorway. Dressed in a suit and tie, his hair was slicked back with sweat, beads of it dripping down his temples. He was breathing hard, as if he’d run all the way across town. He wasn’t a farmer or a laborer, but a well-to-do man. The cut of his clothes was telling, and John wouldn’t have taken a low-class mistress. But a married one? This man was scorned. The gun in his hands proved that and I bit my lip again to stifle the panic that wanted to slip out. Proved that he was a little insane, too. Mad with jealousy? I felt ridiculed and ashamed at being tossed aside. I could only imagine this man’s rage at being discovered a cuckold.

John pulled out of the woman—Marie—and turned on his knees toward the other man. His cock was red and swollen and shiny with the woman’s arousal. Marie was trapped by her wrists being tied, but she tipped onto her side and pulled her knees up to try to hide. She was like a child who covered their eyes and thought they could not be seen. Her motions did nothing to hide her nakedness or the view of her used pussy. Her crime, and John’s, was indisputable.

“Neil,” she cried, her eyes widening. John put his hands up as if to ward the man off, but he said nothing. What was there to say?

Neil narrowed his eyes as his chest heaved. There was no hesitation, no deliberation. He shot John square in the chest.

The sound reverberated in the room and I covered my mouth with my hand to cover my cry of surprise. Blood bloomed on his chest and John put his hands over the hole. He only looked down at the wound before he fell to his side, dead. I was not the doctor, but I knew a shot to the heart would make death instantaneous. Marie screamed and pleaded with her husband as she shuffled up onto her knees and tugged at the bonds that held her trapped. Instead of a playful game of bondage, it kept her right where Neil wanted her when he shot her, too. Once, then twice.

I barely breathed, my ears ringing from the report of the gun. I didn’t dare move a muscle, afraid he’d see me and come after me next. Neil stood and looked at the bodies for a few seconds. Maybe a minute. I had no idea of time. I just remained as still as possible behind the door, hoping he couldn’t hear the frantic beat of my heart. Surely, he’d shoot me too if I was discovered. While he had reason for his actions, it was still cold-blooded murder. He took a deep breath, then another, then spun on his heels, stomped down the steps and out the door. The quiet left in his wake was just as deafening as the gunshots.

My legs quivered, then folded. I slid down the wall to the floor, a crumpled, wilted heap. My hands shook and I tried to keep myself calm, to keep the excess energy from overwhelming me. That was where the sheriff and my neighbors found me a few minutes later, the dirty secrets of my marriage no longer hidden. Instead, they were naked and dead in my own bed.





CHAPTER TWO



Luke

Denver, Colorado

December 1885



“You didn’t have to do this,” Walker murmured, standing with me on the train platform as the westbound train pulled in. It was loud, hissing and clunking as it came to a stop. Finally. Two hours behind schedule and in that time I should have turned around and left. But a woman waited, a woman who was my bride and I could not be cruel to her. It was not her fault I’d been proxy married to a stranger. The blame fell solely on me.

“I do,” I replied, my breath coming out in a big white cloud. The sun had slid behind the mountains and night was falling fast, the temperature dropping well below freezing. Any snow that had melted earlier in the day was now turning to ice on the brick walkways.

Tucking the collar of my coat up about my neck, I looked down the length of the train, knowing she would soon appear. My bride. My mail order bride. A stranger with a piece of paper that tied us in legal matrimony. What would she look like? Tall or short? Homely or beautiful? It mattered not. What did matter was that I was the first to marry under the new law of Slate Springs. I glanced at Walker, stalwart and quiet beside me. “Are you having second thoughts? Is that the problem?”

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