The Poet

Roses are red

As is your blood

It flowed from you freely

Poured out like a flood

Chelsea Thomas shivered as she read the poem. It was the third one in just over a month. It was waiting for her when she returned home from work. She wanted to throw it away or burn it. But she knew Charlie would want to see it since she'd shown him the other two. She wanted to show it to Kyle too.

When she'd told Charlie about the poems, he told her to go to the police. After she showed them to him, he begged her to go to the police. She took them to Kyle instead.

Kyle Morgan had already been living in the apartment across the hall when Chelsea moved in nearly two years ago. They'd gone out on a couple of dates, but after realizing the chemistry wasn't there, he became like an older brother to her. When the poems started showing, up she went right to him. Kyle worked for some kind of high-level security company.

She decided the trip across the hall could wait until after her date with Charlie. She checked her watch; he would be picking her up in fifteen minutes. She needed to get ready.

Chelsea changed her clothes, touched up her make-up, and was adding some volume to her straight, blonde hair when the doorbell rang. She gave the mirror an approving nod and went to answer the door.

Charlie Birch stood in the hall wearing blue jeans and an off-white, collared shirt with the sleeves rolled up to his elbows. He looked amazing. Perfectly mussed hair framed a sharp, masculine face that was highlighted by icy blue eyes.

In her mind, she'd already pulled him inside and ripped his shirt off when his voice brought her back to reality. "You look beautiful," he said. "Are you ready?"

"Umm, yeah, come on in. I just have to get my purse." She'd only met Charlie two weeks ago and she was already worried about breaking her one month rule.

He followed her inside and shut the door. "You seem a little distracted. Is everything alright?"

"I'm fine," she said, heading into her bedroom to get her purse. But no, things were far from fine. She wanted Charlie more than she'd ever wanted any man and she still had fifteen and a half days until the month was up. Not that she was counting. On top of that, she still had no clue where the poems were coming from.

She picked up her purse from the bed and immediately pictured her and Charlie rolling around on top of the comforter in a passionate embrace. God, she needed to get it together.

She turned and walked face first into Charlie's muscular chest. She squeaked and jumped back, stumbled against the bed, and fell onto her butt. He squatted down next to her. Her pride was hurt more than her tush, but with the poems, the normal stress of work, and the added complication of a new man in her life, she couldn't stop the tears from spilling out.

Charlie helped her up and made her sit on the bed. "I'm sorry," she said. "I don't know what's going on."

He sat down next to her. His strong, but gentle, hand turned her head to face him. His face held a look she hadn't seen on him before. He caressed her cheek, brushing away her tears. "I guess you didn't like the new poem."