Cassandra: Night Shades

1/18/2016 Update:

Cassandra: Night Shades is live on Smashwords.
Prerelease promotional price $1.99
Release date 3/21/16

The following is an excerpt from chapter 6

He sat on the front stoop of Joan Curtis’ little house enjoying the soft summer rain looking back over the last few days with Cassie and lost opportunities to get closer to her. He’d spent a large part of the afternoon at the barn with her helping move her tack into the assigned locker. Once Bucky was settled, they returned home to escort her grandmother to church. He offered to take them out for dinner, but Cassie refused to go unless she paid for the meal. She was making him crazy. She wasn’t interested in the money that her father left her in his will, nor did she want anything to do with the ranch.

It was raining harder now. This is sure a different world from the one I grew up in, or the stinking desert where I will soon be deployed.  My third tour of Iraq facing me and I hate the place more with each return. Even when I’m not in the war-zone it stays with me. I can’t sit on a step in the rain on a quiet dead end street without feeling that some one is lurking in the dark corners where the streetlights don’t reach.


 Rain beating on the roof woke her with an urgent need to relieve her bladder. That accomplished she checked for her stash of ibuprofen. “Oh Crap!” I guess I’ll have to try down stairs. Maybe Gram has a store of aspirin in the first floor bath medicine cabinet. Casey worked her way down to the main floor without turning on the lights. The nightlights in the hall, bathroom, and kitchen helped her navigate. Pills on their way into her system targeting her throbbing sinuses, she refilled her glass from the water dispenser on the fridge. On her way back to her room she noticed the open front door. Geeze Gram you are really slipping!

She noticed him sitting on the front stoop, shirtless and barefoot as she was about to close and lock up. She opened the screen door and sat on the step beside him. “What are you doing out here?”

“Just enjoying the rain.”

Something was bothering him, and she figured he was unable to sleep. “Well…it is a good thing it is the middle of the night. Otherwise 911 would be overrun with calls from women on this end of Frank St. complaining of heart palpitations.”

“What about you? That tee shirt barely reaches mid thigh! Do you run around out here dressed like that often?”

She wanted to smack him. It was his fault she was out here in her nightshirt. “You’re not doing it right.”

“Doing what right.”

“The whole rain thing!”

He’d no idea what she was talking about and was about to ask for clarification when she set her water glass on the stoop, walked on to the lawn and began twirling in the rain. This wasn’t the little girl performing at a dance recital, but a pagan goddess that could be a serious contender in a wet t-shirt contest!

Casey held out her arms to him. “Come on, Jimmy boy, haven’t you ever danced in the rain?”

He was finding it hard to control his physical response to her erotic rain dance. “Can’t say that I ever have.”

She walked up taking a hold of his hands, “Well…its about time you gave it a try!”

Maybe I should have left him on the front porch. What started out as a couple dancing a simple two-step in the rain quickly turned into a carnal embrace.

JD lifted Casey off her feet and kissed her. God I’ve wanted to hold her and kiss her ever since I saw her in Denver. This is getting out of hand! All reasonable thought left him when she put her arms around his neck and instigated a tongue-thrusting kiss.

Casey’s female core responded to him like it had never done before. She couldn’t get close enough to him and when he cupped her butt urging her close to his erection she opened her legs to wrap them around him.

  “What are you children doing out in the pouring rain?”

Oh God! It was Gram. Casey disengaged her grip on JD the instant he took his hands off her, and she went tumbling to the soggy lawn in a fit of laughter.

“Casey, stop acting like a crazy person before the neighbors call the police! Come in the side door; I don’t want you kids tracking up my living room carpet.”

“I hope she doesn’t forget to open the side door; she just closed and locked this one.” He didn’t say a word, but waited for her to pick up her glass. Then he took her arm as they crossed the lawn and worked their way up the drive to the now unlocked side entrance.

“Go down and towel off, while I make you some hot chocolate. I ought to take a switch to both of you. You’ll be lucky if you don’t come down with pneumonia!”

Casey flicked on the basement light and went straight to the dryer to pull out a couple of fresh towels. Armed with a clean shirt and a pair of boxer shorts, she changed in the small gray tiled bathroom.

“I’ll run up and get you a clean pair of britches. Use the shower if you want. I’ll be right back.”

His dress uniform was hung in the closet, but everything that he had worn in the past few days was stuffed into a large plastic bag in his duffel. She pulled out the dirty laundry, and located a clean pair of briefs as well as a pair of jeans. She carried it all down stairs receiving a quelling look of disapproval as she passed her grandmother. Casey knocked on the bathroom door, “Throw out the wet trousers and I’ll give you the dry ones.” He threw out the wet jeans and took the dry offerings. She picked up the wet jeans. “Is that it?”

“Yeah. Unless you want the towels too.”

“No. I’ll get them later with the rest of the linens.” Lord he didn’t have any underwear on, and neither did I!  If it hadn’t been for Gram’s timely interruption I could be in a world of hurt. I’ll bet he didn’t have a condom handy, I sure didn’t nor had the use of one even entered my mind.  She threw his mixed load of laundry in the washer and set the temperature selector to cold. She trudged up the stairs like a kid who’d been caught with her hand in a cookie jar, and he was right behind her.

Gram plunked a mug of hot chocolate, complete with mini marshmallows, in front of each on them. She sat down at the table with her own mug and lowered the boom.  “I’m really disappointed in both of you. My granddaughter cavorting in the rain like a hoyden! What must Jimmy think of your upbringing? As for you young man you have almost a decade on her and should know better.”

“Yes mama. Sorry mama, it won’t happen again.”

Casey lost it and broke into another fit of laughter. Gram got up and smacked her! That reprimand only made her laugh harder. Smack! At that point JD protested, “Honestly, Mrs. Curtis, the whole thing was as much my fault as Cassie’s.”

“See! So, why don’t you go smack Jimmy in the chops?”

“Because he apologized for his inappropriate behavior, and I don’t doubt for an instant that you instigated the whole episode.”

What could she say? She really did start the fireworks with her silly rain dance. 

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