Read an excerpt from Kidnapped: The Hypnotic Adventures of Madison Van Buren: Book 3

The sun hung low over the Pacific Ocean. Still a couple of hours until sunset. A gentle breeze blew off the ocean. Another day of perfect weather on Santa Maria’s boardwalk.

“It’s the easiest game in the world,” said Perry. Three playing cards lay face down on a rickety folding table. “All you have to do is spot the Queen.” He turned the cards over: Queen of Spades, Seven of Diamonds and Three of Hearts. He flipped them back and swiftly moved them around the table. After thirty seconds he stopped. “Where’s the Queen?”

“In the center,” said a blond twenty-something guy in an Ohio State jersey.

Perry turned over the middle card. It was the Queen. “See? Easy game. Let’s make it interesting. Say twenty bucks?”

“You’re on,” said the OSU fan. He slapped down a bill on the table.

“Okay, here we go.” Perry moved his hands about table and the tourist watched intently. After a minute the cards came to rest. “Which one?”

The OSU fan pointed. “The one on the left.”

Perry flipped the card over. The Queen. “Winner!” He handed over a twenty. “Care to go again? Fifty this time?”

A pretty brunette in a green golf shirt and white shorts, tugged on the OSU fan’s sleeve. ”Come on, Dicky. I’m hungry.”

“Hang on a moment, babe. I’m going to win enough to pay for dinner.” Dicky slapped down fifty on the table.

“Here we go,” said Perry. The cards flew across the table. Dicky kept his eyes locked on the Queen the whole time. He didn’t blink. The cards came to rest.

“Where is it?” asked Perry.

“In the center,” said Dicky.

Perry flipped over the card. The Seven of Diamonds. “Oh, sorry.” He flipped the card on his left revealing the Queen and scooped up the $50. “Go again?”

Dicky didn’t reply. He turned over each card and inspected it closely. He saw a slight bend on one corner of the queen. “Okay, but let’s go for a hundred.” He emptied his wallet and placed the bills on the table.

“Dicky, I’m hungry now,” said the brunette.

“Then go eat, Cheryl,” he growled. “I’m busy here.”

Cheryl momentarily glared at him, then disappeared down the boardwalk.

“Okay for $100,” said Perry. His hand began their work and the cards started flying.

What do we have here?” asked a feminine voice.

Perry glanced up and saw Calithea. Santa Maria’s leading super heroine had ditched her standard black cat suit for more suitable beach attire: a white sports bra, black short shorts and ankle boots.

“It’s nothing to worry about, Calithea. Just a friendly little game,” Perry said as he continued to move the cards about the table while stealing glances at her impressive physique.

“Games of chance aren’t legal in Santa Maria,” she replied.

“Only this is a game of skill,” said Perry. “Why don’t you go bust some meth dealers? Are you even a cop?”

Dicky chimed in. “Look lady, we’re trying to play a game here.”

Perry stopped the cards. “Where is it?”

Calithea looked at Dicky. “The Queen is in his pocket.”

Dicky shook his head. “You’re crazy. It’s right here. It’s got a bend in the cor—” He flipped over the card. It was the Seven of Diamonds. Dicky flipped over the other two cards: The Three of Clubs and another Seven of Diamonds. Hey, he’s a cheat!”

“I know,” said Calithea. “I tried to warn you.”

Dicky grabbed the table, tossed it aside and advanced on Perry. “You dirty cheater.”

Perry put up his fists.

“Stop! Both of you,” commanded Calithea.

They turned toward her.

“You don’t want to fight…

“You want to listen to me…

“Hear my words…

“Heed my words…

“Isn’t it just so relaxing…

“To listen to my voice…

“And forget about all your cares…”

Perry’s fists relaxed. Dicky’s arms dropped to his side.”

“Good…

“Very good…

“Just keep listening to my voice…

“And forget about the rest of the world…

“Nothing else matters…

“Just my words…

“Just my voice…

“Feels so good…

“To have your mind go empty…

“Go blank…

“And let my words…

“Replace your thoughts…

“I am deep in your mind…

“My words penetrating your subconscious…

“Molding you…

“Controlling you…

“You want my words…

“You need my voice…

“You crave my control…

“You are helpless before me…

“Counting down from ten…

“And when I reach zero…

“You will drop in to a deep trance…

“Where I will control you completely…

“Ten…

“Falling so fast…

“Nine…

“Falling so deep…

“Eight…

“Falling so far…

“Seven…

“Spiraling down…

“Six…

“Twisting and twirling…

“Five…

“Spinning around and around…

“Four…

“So dizzy…

“Three…

“So weak…

“Two…

“So mindless…

“One…

“So helpless…

“Zero…

“Deep trance now!” Calithea snapped her fingers.

Both men’s bodies swayed back and forth in the gentle breeze.

Calithea looked over the pair triumphantly.

“You are now deep under my spell…

“And must obey any and all of my instructions…

“You must obey me…

“You want to obey me…

“You need to obey me…

“You are compelled to obey me…

“You will obey me…

Calithea stared at the huckster. “Perry, give this man his money back.”

Perry’s eyes were empty and blank. He didn’t blink. He reached into his pocket, pulled out a wad of bills and handed it to Dicky.

Calithea placed her hand on Dicky’s shoulder. “Now run along and find your girlfriend. You’re lucky you have her.”

Dicky’s walked away in a daze down the boardwalk.

Calithea turned her attention back to Perry. “And now my enterprising young friend, tell me how much have you made today scamming the tourists?”

“Close to seven hundred dollars,” said Perry in a monotone.

Calithea frowned. “It’s not practical to have you chase down all the people you ripped off.” Her frown became a smile. “But you can donate that money to Santa Maria’s no-kill animal shelter. Doesn’t that sound like a good idea?”

Perry nodded.

She moved close and whispered in his ear, “And no more games of chance of skill with the tourists, understand?

“Yes, Calithea.”

“Good boy. Coming up on the count of five… One… Two… Three… Four.. Five…” Calithea snapped her fingers twice.

“Calithea!” Perry exclaimed.

“What sort of trouble are you up to today, Perry?”

“No trouble. I don’t do that sort of thing anymore.” He shook his head. “In fact I’m about to go volunteer at the animal shelter.”

Calithea smiled. “Is that so?”


Kidnapped! is coming in March of 2018.

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Read an excerpt from The Co-ed: The Financial Domination Files #7

 

 

“Next stop, Newark, Delaware!” The conductor’s voice crackles over the intercom. “Not all doors will open. Please exit where you see train personnel.”

Frank Morris glances from his laptop to his watch. Another two hours to New York City. The train slows to a stop. An elderly couple rises to leave. Frank might be the only passenger left in business class.

He looks out at the concrete platform. Businessman and vacationers jockey for a spot in line. And wow! A hot blonde in a too-tight, pink t-shirt and ripped jeans exits the elevator and heads toward the train. She’s wearing a backpack and pulling a suitcase. He presses his head against the window, but loses sight of her. Oh well. Frank returns to his spreadsheets on the laptop.

He hears the door open at the front of the car. He glances over the rows of seats to see the blonde. Straight hair to her shoulders, high cheekbones, cherry red lipstick, mysterious brown eyes. And she’s young. Maybe not even twenty. She rocks her hips down the aisle past his seat.

He knows he shouldn’t, but Frank leans across the aisle seat and turns to watch her strut.

But she’s not strutting!

She’s stopped, turned and now faces him, almost as if she knows he was going to sneak a peek. She smiles with perfect white teeth. “Enjoying the view?” she says in a classic Southern Belle accent.

Frank’s face burns red. He says nothing, leans back into his seat and pretends to look at this laptop.

The blonde removes her backpack, glances at the luggage rack above the seats and frowns. “Why don’t you be a gentleman and help a lady out?”

Frank slides out of his seat and shuffles into the aisle. The blonde smells clean and fresh, like a summer day after the rain. He grabs her pack and suitcase and hefts them onto the luggage rack. Without a word, he returns to his seat.

The blonde flops into the seat next to Morris. She reclines and stretches out her legs. Tanned flesh peeks through the holes in her faded jeans. Strappy sandals adorn her feet. Her toe-nails are painted a shiny red.

Frank keeps his head straight forward, but out of the corner of his eye he notices she’s not wearing a bra. Her breasts strain against the pink cotton. He watches her chest rise and fall with each breath.

“I’m Lauren,” she says, her accent as thick as gravy on grits.

Frank doesn’t reply; he stares at his laptop.

“Are you going to spend the rest of the trip trying not to notice me?”

Frank sighs and looks at her. “I’m Frank.”

She smiles and grabs his left hand. “Frank, your married! What would your wife say if she knew you were checking out younger women.”

He takes his hand back from her. “I have work to do.”

“What sort of work do you do?”

Frank sighs again. “I’m a regional sales manager for a popular Internet automobile buying website.”

Lauren frowns. “Sounds boring. Does it pay well?”

“I do okay.”

She grins. “That’s what I like to hear.” She strokes his hand and he moves it away.

“I really do need to do some work.”

“Sure,” says Lauren. “Go right ahead.”

Frank types at the keyboard and opens a spreadsheet for last quarter’s sales in the Southeast Region.

Lauren slips off her right sandal and wiggles her toes.

Frank’s typing slows.

She slides her bare foot across the floor next to his leg.

Frank’s typing slows further.

She lifts her foot, hooking her toes inside his pant leg and strokes her foot against his shin.

Frank’s typing stops.

“I thought you needed to do some work,” says Lauren.

He turns, exasperated. “What do you want?”

“I always love it when boys, men, ask me that.” She laughs. “I want some lunch.”

Frank points his thumb to the rear of the train. “The cafe car’s that way.”

“I want you to get me lunch.”

“Why would I do that?”

She rubs her foot as far up his shin as it will go. She leans close and whispers in his ear. “Get my lunch and maybe I’ll let you do all that work you claim you need to do.”

His heart is pounding. His blood boiling. He can’t concentrate. “Okay.”

“I want a turkey club, apple and Diet Coke.”

He stands. She grins at the bulge in his pants.

He puts his hand out.

“What’s that?”

“I need money for your lunch.”

She laughs. “I thought you were a successful manger of the Internet or something. Surely you can afford to buy me lunch.” She dropped her voice an octave. “You know you want to.”

He looks her over. She’s stunning, gorgeous. And the way she’s just so confident, makes him want to do things for her. She’s right. He does want to buy her lunch.

 

Frank is back in ten minutes with her lunch.

She has moved into his seat, and tapping away at the keyboard.

He sits in her seat, lowers the tray table and sets her lunch on it. “What are you doing?”

“Just chatting with your boss and wife.”

“Please!”

“I’m just kidding. For now. But I do have contact information for your friends and co-workers. So after our little train ride together you’ll still want to do things for me. And if you don’t, I’ll be sending out some pretty interesting emails.”

“L—Look, I’ll do whatever you want. J—”

“Yes, you will.”

“Why are you doing this?”

She laughs. “What do you think?”

“Attention?”

She purses her lips. “I guess that’s partly true. I do like the way men can’t help but stare at me. But there’s more. Why do you think I chose to sit next to you?”

“I don’t know.”

“Sure you do. I saw it in your eyes when I first walked by. You have a wife, kids, you know better, but you can’t help yourself. That’s why I do it. Because I can.”

“How do you know I have kids?”

“Trust me. Guys like you always have kids.” She grabs her soda and sips. “And here you are now. You shouldn’t be talking to me but you are. You shouldn’t let me do this.” She turns in her seat, lifts her foot and rubs it against his crotch. “But you will.”

Frank says nothing. He grips the armrests. His body shakes. A drop of sweat runs down his forehead.

Lauren watches the sweat trickle. “Do I make you hot?”

“W—What do you want?”

“Your wallet.” She reaches into his pants pocket and retrieves his billfold.

“What are you doing?”

She grins. “Anything I want.” She continues rubbing her foot against his thighs. “You don’t want me to stop do you?”

“No.” he says in a whimper.

She laughs and sorts through the wallet. She takes three hundred and cash and two credit cards. “Oh, American Express Platinum. I guess you are doing okay.”

She slips the now empty wallet into his pocket and lets her hand linger longer than necessary. “How else can you serve me?”

“Serve?” says Frank.

“Next stop Philadelphia,” says the conductor’s voice over the intercom.

“Guess we’re done here. This is my stop,” says Lauren. She closes the laptop, grabs it and stands.

“Where are you going with my laptop?”

“I need it for school.” Lauren smiles cruelly. “Is that going to be a problem?”

Frank looks at her; he knows he can’t refuse her. “No.”

“No, what?”

Frank doesn’t reply. He is confused.

“No, Goddess Lauren.” She says it like a schoolteacher explaining to a child.

He swallows hard. His heart is about to burst out of his chest. “No, it’s not a problem, Goddess Lauren.”

She leans forward and whispers in his ear. “Didn’t that feel good?” She giggles as his body shakes uncontrollably. She retrieves her luggage and slips the laptop into her backpack. She starts to leave, then turns and blows a kiss. “Be sure to dream about me,” she says in a sultry voice.

Frank is certain he will.

 

Read an excerpt from What Happens in Philly…

This is a sneak peek at the fourth and final chapter of the Tessa Fields: Femme Fatale Saga.
.

Fort Collins, Colorado
Seven Years Ago

 

“I’m hungry,” announced Sapphire Rain from the back seat.

Across from her, Linda Varenakova nodded. “Me too,” she said in a slight Eastern European accent.

Tessa Fields looked to the passenger seat. “What about you, Shelle?”

The petite brunette smiled. “Yeah, I could eat,” she answered in a Carolina drawl.

Tessa glanced at the signs rising from the service road parallel to I-25. “Buffalo Wild Wings?”

“Ick!” said Sapphire.

“I did not know the American buffalo grows wings,” said Linda.

Shelle laughed. “The wings come from chickens.”

“Then why is it not called Chicken Wild Wings?” asked Linda.

“Red Lobster?” said Tessa reading another sign.

“Not on your life,” said Sapphire.

“We’re running out of options,” said Shelle.

A blue and gold sign caught Linda’s eye. “International House of Pancakes. That sounds very welcoming to a girl from Bratislava.”

“Suits me,” said Sapphire.

“I’m in,” said Shelle.

“IHOP it is,” said Tessa as she maneuvered the silver Volvo XC40 down the exit ramp.

 

Inside the IHOP  heads turned and conversations stopped as the four ladies stepped to the host’s station.

From left to right stood: Sapphire in a maroon cashmere sweater, khakis and ankle boots. Shelle Rivers dressed in all black, a daring top, mini-skirt, fishnets and four inch heels, Linda wore a long-sleeve, lavender fitted-tee-shirt, faded jeans and trainers, and Tessa in a blue-and-white checked blouse open to the third button,  yellow capri pants and sandals.

The host, Richard by his name badge,  took one look at the four and stopped cold.

Tessa snapped her fingers, jolting him out of his daze. “We’d like a table for four, something with a little privacy,” said Tessa. “Can you do that for us, Richie?” She reached out and ran a shiny fingernail across his chest.

Richard swallowed hard. “Yes, ma’am. Please follow me.” He led the four to a table in the far corner of the restaurant. He pulled a chair out for each lady.

“Thank you, Richie.” said Tessa.

“My pleasure, Ladies.” His face was flushed red.

“Of course it is,” said Sapphire.

“C—Can I start you off with something to drink?” he asked.

“Coffee,” said Shelle.

“Coffee for me too,” said Linda.

“Make that three,” said Sapphire.

“Bring us a pot with lots of cream and milk,” said Tessa.

“Right away.” Richard hustled off.

Sapphire giggled. “Looks like Tessa has a new boy toy.”

“He is kind of cute in a lost puppy sort of way,” said Tessa.

Shelle looked around the room and spied a couple of guys in Colorado State sweatshirts. “Ooh. My favorite hobby. College boys.” She stood and smoothed her skirt. “Order me French Toast and a side of grits. Be back in a bit.” She sauntered off toward her prey.

“I think I’ll give my order directly to the manager,” said Sapphire.

“I’ll wait for the coffee with Tessa,” said Linda.”

 

Shelle rocked her hips as she scooted around the tables. The two college boys watched with wide eyes and open jaws as she approached their booth.

She stopped a table across from the booth, grabbed a chair, turned it to face the boys and sat. She crossed her legs. Her black skirt rose dangerously high on her thighs.

“Hello boys,” she said in her utterly charming Southern accent. “I’m Shelle.”

The boy on her left said, “My name is Jer—”

“I don’t care.” Shelle waved her hand dismissively. “What I do care about is what you think of my new shoes?”

“S—Shoes?” the two said in unison.

“Of course,” said Shelle with a not-so-innocent looking smile. “I just got these last week.” She lifted her left foot to allow a better look.  “Black patent leather, jewel encrusted ankle strap, back zipper and four-inch stiletto heels.” She giggled. “A bargain at $900.”

“Nine hundred dollars is a lot to spend on shoes,” said the boy on the right.

Shelle giggled. “I didn’t spend that. These were a gift from a devoted admirer.” She lowered her left foot and crossed her legs. “So what do you think?”

The boys stared, but didn’t answer.

She grinned. “Maybe you’re having a little trouble thinking…

“That’s okay…

“I can do all the thinking for you…

“You’d like that wouldn’t you…

“Just listening to my voice…

“And staring at my shoes…

“My shoes are quite lovely…

“Exciting…

“Dangerous…

“Seductive…

“Don’t you just love the heels…

“Long…

“Black…

“Sexy…

“And the straps…

“The way they hug my feet…

“And my adorable little toes…”

She wiggled her toes. The boys gasped in response.

“That’s right, boys…

“You just love my toes…

“My feet…

“My shoes…

“Don’t feel the need to be closer…

“Nearer to my wonderful feet…

“And my sexy shoes…

“Kneeling is always good idea…”

The two slipped out of the booth onto the floor and knelt before Shelle.

“That’s right boys…

“Feels so good to kneel before me…

“Feels so good to stare at my shoes…

“You start to notice how my shoes control you…”

She twirled her right foot.  Their eyes followed along, circling in their sockets.

“Around…

“And around…

“And around…

“You could do this forever…

“Just watching my shoe…

“My foot…

“My toes…

“Nothing you’d rather do…

“Than sit…

“And stare…”

She giggled.

“Except maybe lick them…

“Can you imagine…

“Running your tongue up and down the shaft of my heels…

“Cleaning the dirty soles…

“Grit accumulating in your mouth…

“Just so hot…

“Isn’t it…

“Let the idea burn into your mind…

“And consume you…

“Want my shoes…

“Worship my shoes…

“Obsess over my shoes…

“Clean my shoes…

“What would you do…

“What would you offer…

“For the chance…

“To worship my shoes…

“To clean my shoes…

“With your unworthy tongues…

“Think about how divine it would be…

“The single greatest moment of your lives…

“You’d offer anything, everything…

“For the honor…

“For the privilege…

“Of cleaning the soles of my shoes with your tongues…

“Wouldn’t you?”

They both nodded slowly.

Shelle laughed. “Out with your wallets. Let’s see if you can make it worth my while.”

 

Sapphire Rain approached the man in the white shirt and black tie. “Are you the manager?” She flashed a thousand-watt smile.

The man reflexively smiled back. “That’s right, Chris Morton. What can I do for you?”

“Well, Chris, I wanted you to cover the check for my friends and I.” Sapphire pointed to the table where Linda and Tessa were sitting.

“Is there a problem?” asked Morton.

Sapphire shook her head. “Oh, no. No problem at all. I thought I’d give you the chance to do us this favor.”

Morton furrowed his brow. “I’m a little confused. I do—”

“I understand,” said Sapphire.

“Confusion can make it hard to think…

“So very difficult…

“Random ideas…

“Filling your head…

“Difficult to make sense of it all…

“It’s really just easier…

“If you let me to the thinking for you…

“No more confusion…

“No more trouble…

“No more thoughts…

“Just my enchanting…

“Intoxicating…

“Words…

“Filling your mind…

“Your own thoughts are…

“Small…

“Trivial…

“Fading away…

“My words are…

“Powerful…

“Important…

“Essential…

“Can you feel my words…

“My voice…

“Becoming your thoughts…

“Penetrating your mind…

“Altering your subconscious…

“Making you eager to obey…

“Willing to serve…

“Compelled to comply…

“There’s nothing more important…

“Than serving me…

“Obeying me…

“Feel it in your mind…

“Feel it in your bones…

“You are mine…

“Always have been…

“Always will be…

“Falling deeper into my control with every breath…

“With every word…

“And now counting you down from five…

“And when I reach one…

“You’ll be in a state of utter hypnotic trance…

“Open to all my commands and suggestions…

“Five…

“Mind so empty…

“Four…

“So blank…

“Three…

“Vacant…

“Two…

“Void…

“One… Deep sleep now!” Sapphire snapped her fingers.

Morton’s eyes slammed shut.

Sapphire smiled triumphantly. She leaned forward and whispered in his ear. “Now about our check…”

 

Shelle returned to the table, sat down and slapped a wad of bills on the table. “I’ve got gas money covered.”

Sapphire Rain took a seat a moment later. “I had a little chat with the manager.” She grinned. “Our meal has been comped.”

“Well done, Ladies” said Tessa. “This is turning into the best road trip ever.”

Linda silently sipped her coffee. She always felt like the odd one out in their little group. Three American girls and the foreigner from Slovakia. She would show them. She was just as capable, could be just as manipulative as they were. She put down her cup and stood. “I will have some fun, too.”

 

In the kitchen Linda grabbed two full plates of pancakes. One of the waiters started to object. Linda stared into the his eyes. He fell silent.

She carried the plates to a table in the center of the restaurant. A heavyset man was seated at the table. She dropped the plates in front of him.

He looked at the plates, then to Linda.

She smiled and locked her eyes on him.

His face went blank. The color drained from his face. He stared back into her pale blue eyes, unable to look away.

“Eat,” she commanded.

The word echoed in his mind.

He drenched three pancakes with syrup and slathered them with butter. He cut the pancakes into bits placed them in his mouth.

“Faster,” she said.

His hands moved with urgency, cutting more bites and shoveling them into his mouth. He chewed furiously, with barely a chance to swallow or breathe before he shoved more pancake into his mouth.

“Faster.”

He dropped the knife and fork, and grabbed a whole pancake with his hands. He folded it and stuffed his mouth.

His mouth was full, but he was bound to eat even faster. Her command echoed in his empty mind. No time to chew. A chunk of pancake caught in his throat. He couldn’t breathe, but he was still compelled to keep eating.

With no room left in his mouth, he smashed the pancakes on his face. His skin started to turn blue.

“Linda!” Tessa Fields stared at her with arms crossed. “What are you doing?”

“Just having fun, like the other girls.”

The man eyes closed. He slumped forward, his face falling into the plate of pancakes.

“Fun?” Tessa stood behind the unconscious man, reached under his waist and yanked. Nothing. Yanked again. Nothing. She pulled with all her might. The man coughed. Pieces of pancake flew out of his mouth. He gasped for air.

“See? All is okay,” said Linda.

“You could have killed him,” snapped Tessa.

“But it’s all fun and games when Sapphire and Shelle empty wallets?”

“That’s different,” said Tessa.

“Of course it is,” Linda muttered under her breath.

What Happens in Philly… is coming in 2018!

Read an excerpt from What Happens in Vegas…

Hôtel Le Sereno
Saint Barthélemy

“Ooooh,” moaned Tessa Fields. “That’s the good stuff.”

A set of powerful, yet graceful, hands kneaded the muscles of her legs. Another worked to relieve the stress in her shoulders. A final pair massaged and unkinked her back.

She sipped her vodka and cranberry juice through a straw. From the rooftop of the pricey resort she watched the setting sun paint the sky pink and orange.

A hand rose perilously high on her thigh.

“Careful, you’re getting close to the danger zone.”

“Oui, Mademoiselle,” came the reply. The hand moved lower and stroked the back of her left shin.

She sucked on the straw and produced a slurping sound. Her glass was empty. “Drink break, boys.”

The massages stopped.

Tessa sat up, her impressive breasts nearly spilling out of the towel wrapped around her midsection. The white towel was in stark contrast with the deep tan she had earned on her weeklong stay in the Caribbean paradise.
She held out the glass and shook. “Another.”

A buff man in a too-tight t-shirt and shorts grabbed the glass. “Oui.”

“Remember, plenty of ice,” Tessa called out as the man dashed off.

“Okay back to it, boys.” She lay down and the hands resumed their magic touch. The sun disappeared from the horizon, the crystal blue water turned dark. A gentle breeze blew filling the air with the scent of the sea. Tessa closed her eyes and smiled. Not quite asleep, but not fully awake, she wished this moment could last forever.

“Delmar, Gilen, Phillipe! What is this?” the angry voice jolted Tessa from her temporary heaven. The hands stopped.

Tessa opened her eyes to see a red-faced, sputtering man.

“Mademoiselle Fields requested a massage.”

“From all three of you?”

“Four. Tabor is refilling her drink.”

The man shook his head. “We have other guests. Mademoiselle Upton and Monsieur Verlander have been waiting thirty minutes. They are furious. Phillipe, Gilen, go to their bungalow right now.”

“Wait, fellas.” Tessa sat up and locked eyes with the red-faced man. “You are the manager?”

“Oui, I am Allain LaCroix.”

“Well, Allain, my fellas—er—your men are doing an excellent job. Don’t berate them. They all deserve raises.”

“I am pleased you are pleased.”

“Then what is the problem?” asked Tessa.

“The other guests would like a massage as well.”

“I paid for the all-inclusive package. That included unlimited massages.” She looked over the handsome masseuses. “And the men certainly don’t seem to mind.”

They grinned goofily.

“But the other guests have expectations as well,” said the manager.

“Perhaps we could come to an understanding,” said Tessa. She picked up her necklace from the table and slipped in around her neck.

“Oui, an understanding.”

She ran a finger down the necklace to the crystal pendant. “Yes, I think if you listen to what I have to say…”

The manager’s eyes followed Tessa’s finger as she traced the necklace chain.

“You will find my suggestions reasonable and appropriate…

“Just listen to—”

“I am li—”

“Shh…” Tessa put a finger to his lips. “No talking. Just listen to Tessa…

“And look into my eyes…

“You’ll find that easy to do…

“Just listening to my words…

“Listening to my voice…

“As your mind empties…

“No worries…

“No cares…

“No thoughts…

“Just my haunting words…

“Echoing in your empty mind…”

The manager stared emptily in her eyes. His breathing was regular and shallow.

“It feels so good to have me in your head…

“It feels so good to hear me in your head…

“Nothing you’d rather do…

“Than let my soft words caress your mind…

“Tough your thoughts…

“Stroke your emotions…

“And lead you down into deep hypnosis…

“Vacant…

“Empty…

“Blank…

“Mindless…

“Helpless…

“Wanting nothing more…

“To go deeper into trance…

“Deeper into hypnosis…

“Deeper under my spell…”

Tessa snapped her fingers three times in quick succession. The manager’s eyelids fluttered.

“So hard to keep your eyes open…

“You try, but you are just so tired…

“Desperate to close them…

“Desperate to sleep for Tessa…

“Eyelids so heavy…

“Like lead weights…

“Heavy…

“Heavy…

“Heavy…

“Now I am going to count down from ten…

“And when I reach zero…

“You will fall into that deep dreamy sleep that you crave…

“Ten…

“Spiraling down…

“Nine…

“Twisting and twirling…

“Eight…

“Falling so fast…

“Seven…

“Unable to resist…

“Six…

“My voice deep in your mind…

“Five…

“The more you fight it…

“Four…

“The sleepier you get…

“Three…

“So weak now…

“Two…

“So helpless…

“One…

“Time to surrender…

“Zero…”

Tessa raised her hands to the sides of the manager’s head.

“Deep sleep now.”
Her fingers just inches from his ears snapped in quick succession. His eyes slammed shut. He swayed. She smiled.

“I am now talking directly to your subconscious…

“I am reprogramming your mind…

“To make you attentive to my needs…

“Eager to obey my commands…

“And desperate to please me…”

A blank smiled appeared on the manager’s face.

“Good boy…

“You want to please Tessa…

“It gives you immense pleasure to make me happy…

“Anything I request…

“Anything I desire…

“You will immediately see that it is done…

“And each action you take to please me…

“Reinforces just how good it feels to be in service to me…

“Is there any greater joy…

“Any greater feeling…

“Than to be hard at work for me?…

“You want to serve Tessa…

“You need to serve Tessa…

“You must serve Tessa…

“You will serve Tessa…”

More finger snaps.

Tessa leaned close now and whispered in his ear.

“You will do whatever I ask…

“You will be consumed with desire to please me…

“My slightest wish will become your deepest desire…

“You live to serve me…

“You adore me…

“You worship me…”

His body shook. Tessa smiled.

“Time to wake up now…

“Counting up to five…

“One…

“Starting to wake up…

“Two…

“Becoming aware…

“Three…

“Eyelids fluttering open…

“Four…

“Almost there…

“Five…

“Wide awake now!” More finger snaps.

The manager’s eyes opened. He looked at Tessa with unbridled adoration. He smiled and dropped to his knees. “How may I serve you Mademoiselle Tessa?”

“First, no more trouble about how many masseuses I have.”

“Oui, you may have as many as you desire.”

“Second, I’d like my all my drinks comped.”

“Oui, consider it done.”

“And I want to go parasailing tomorrow morning.”

“If I may be permitted to go, I will make the arrangements.”

“Very well,” said Tessa. She dismissed the manager with a wave of her hand.

He stood, bowed and ran off.

“Now where’s my drink?”

“Right here, Mademoiselle Tessa.” The man rushed up and handed her the glass.

She looked at his name badge: Tabor. “Well done, Tabor.” She looked him up and down: Sandy hair, bright blue eyes, muscled barely contained by his shirt and shorts. “Stick around. I might have use for you later.”

He grinned and bowed his head.

“Back to work, fellas.” Tessa lay down and the hands returned to eradicating the stress and tension from her body.
Just as she closed her eyes, her iPhone chirped. What now? She was certain she put it on vibrate. She grabbed the phone. She was right. It was set for vibrate, but a priority message from T.R.A.N.C.E. West Coast Headquarters overrode the settings.

Alpha Alert! Return to Santa Cruz with all deliberate speed. Conrad

Tessa sighed. She glanced from the masseuses to the stars in the night sky. She gulped her drink and frowned. This had better be the end of the world, or there would be Hell to pay.


What Happens in Vegas… (Tessa Fields: Femme Fatale, Book 3) will be published in October