CAUTION- There will be some confusion between chapters. For a short while, the story will remain in peices until I can join all the parts. SMUT material will be located in the chapter labeled "X" (because I know what you're after!)

Chapters 1 and 2 are under still under construction and may transition in other ways.

Consider the chapters labeled X and XX to be enticing tid bits of my writing capability and will not be subject to change.

The synopsis will be located on my Profile page.

Chapter One

All was silent in the room except for the callings of Spring. The rain pattered lightly against the dirty window pane, and a slow rumble could be heard in the near distance. The only source of light in the tiny apartment came from the old Toshiba laptop lying precariously on my lap. A lock of brown loosely curled hair escaped from my ponytail, and I tucked it behind my left ear. The time 11:12 glimmered in the bottom right corner.

For several weeks now, I've been sending out online resumes to different businesses and companies. So far, none have bought in to my literary works. I could look down the list of 'contacts' and count 30 individual companies who I'd kill to work for. I'm even willing to move to other cities or states even! The dream was to become an author or a writer of any kind. I could care less about truth or fiction as long as I could write words on a page, there will be joy. I have tried to have some of my works I've written published, but I was turned down every time. 'It just isn't what the public needs right now,' is all publishers and promoters would say to me as they handed back my final copy. Since then, my four year degree in journalism could only earn me a job as a waitress in a greasy spoon restaurant.

I stared at the computer screen; its flashing lights irritated my eyes. I jumped from networking site to e-mail, hoping to find replies or offers or requests for interviews. Idly, I deleted unnecessary e-mails and organized old messages, saving in a file for retail store coupons. Already I knew that no reply was going to come tonight, and tried at the thought 'There's always tomorrow,' but I was far too dismayed. I shut the laptop with a loud click and stuck it in the corner by an outlet.

Thank God I don't have work tomorrow. I rose from the shabby loveseat, stretching tense and cramped muscles. My arms, bare in the black tank top, prickled with goose bumps from the chill of the nearby window. It was till raining but the thunder had passed. The room was pitch black without the laptop to light the room; however, I knew where everything was placed. The loveseat sat in the far wall from the bedroom door, facing away from the kitchen. The window placed to its right, giving a view to the parking garage. Warily, I peered out the window into the darkness, breathing a sigh to spot my bike still parked on its rack, the lock intact. It was my only source of transportation in this city while I was earning for a car and theft in this area is common.

The bones in my feet popped as I made my way to the bedroom and into the bathroom. Doing the normal evening routine, brush teeth, wash face, etc, I hadn't even blinked it was so familiar. Every day. Its going to be the same tomorrow isn't it? I dried my wet hands on a towel nearby, paying particular attention to in between the fingers. By now, the follicles of my hair ached from the tension of the tie, and I carefully untwisted the elastic.

"Ow-ow-owwww," I bit my lip.

Finally, my hair dropped thankfully against my shoulders, their usual curl still intact. I massaged my scalp as I made my way into bed, grateful for the regular blood flow. I lifted the sheets and the flannel patchwork quilt that was tucked neatly on my twin mattress, ungracefully hopping into it. I glanced at the alarm clock on the small night stand. 11:49. Shrugging, I turned over and grabbed a corner of the flannel quilt, rubbing the soft material. The weight of the quilt on top of me was comforting, and I felt warm and protected.

My grandmother originally made the quilt for my grandfather, but before she could complete it, he passed suddenly. He was a large and gentle man that couldn't tolerate different opinions, especially when it came to politics. At the age of 19, he lost his sight from a genetic disease, but that never stopped him from cooking meals for my grandmother. Out of all of his dishes, his simple specialty could never be out matched. Grandpa always did make a mean bowl of popcorn. Upon his death, my grandmother was devastated, and it took her many years of grieving to resume quilting again. By that time, I had moved out of the house to live by myself 'on my own terms' as I used to say. One morning as I was leaving for work, a package was patiently waiting at my door step. It had no return address, only a note saying 'In your Grandmother's will, she wanted you to have it.' My Grandfather's flannel quilt was folded perfectly inside, and I have cherished it since.

I am so thankful.

Still smiling from pleasant memories, I fell asleep. The quilt was still wrapped around my fingers.

Be-beep..be-beep..be-beep

I shuffled underneath warm blankets, dismayed by the sudden and rude awakening. I smacked the 'off' button to the clock a bit more harshly than intended. Yawning and wiping sleep from my eyes, I sat up and dangled my legs off the twin mattress. The springs creaked underneath the solid weight of my body. The air in the room was uncomfortably cold and I quickly wrapped myself with the quilt, still sitting up. A sudden longing swept hard and fast over my body as I rubbed the flannel.

I sure dreamt about a lot last night, I thought as I grabbed a small journal and pen off the nightstand, I definitely recall having a… male companion.

Sleepily, I wrote as descriptively as I could. There was a man, ruggedly handsome with tousled brown hair and a long high-collared coat, who kept calling my name. He was also grimy, like he had been in a really tough brawl, and breathing heavily. In his hand was a dust covered Nikon camera. I don't think there was any purpose to the camera, but he was holding on to it with white knuckles. The man's brow was furrowed with emotion (I couldn't make out what) and covered in dirt. What did he want to do? Protect me? Save me? Take my picture?

I giggled at the stupidity and logic of this dream. One, it isn't possible to read in dreams so I couldn't have read that the camera was a Nikon. Two, nobody looks that good in dirt. Three, nobody's that desperate to take a picture. A lengthy sigh escaped my lungs as I could not deny the truth. More than anything, I wanted to be sought after by a man just like in my fantasies. The man being a photographer just adds to the erotica.

Oh wait! There was more wasn't there? I racked my brain for every small detail that I could squeeze out and… there was the man. I already wrote down the clothes, and there wasn't hardly any scenery…Got it! He said something to me. Rather, he roared into the air. The memory makes me shudder with want.

"Keep fighting! We are doing this together! He cannot win. He will never win, and by God," he pulls out a pistol from inside his trench coat, "Damn it all, I will never let him!" He let out a growl and shot storms of bullets. I was too busy focusing on his image to create a target.

Wow… I had no idea I was attracted to such…domination is the only word I can think of.

I glanced at my clock. 6:20… I'm already fully awake, and I could use a relaxing morning to recover from… "Fuck it." I hopped out of my bed and made my way to the bathroom.

Time passed slowly while I went over in my head the dream. I bathed in the hottest water I could get out of my dinky little shower head, lathering in vanilla soap. Finishing, I opened the glass door for the towel hook and found nothing there. I made a 'good grief' gesture with my hands.

C'mon Grace. Get it together. Your just gonna have to suffer the chill for a couple of seconds; the wet, icy, freezing chill.

Rushing out of the warm shower, careful not to slip, I grabbed a used towel from off the bathroom floor, semi-relieved. The air around the bathroom was steamy, and it took quite the effort to clear the fog on the mirror. My face, usually pale and clear complexioned, was red and blotchy from washing. My chestnut hair hung heavily with water, taking out the curl. The dripping water landed on my average sized breasts and down the curvature of torso and spine, landing exactly five feet and four inches to the ground. The body God gave me was beautiful and athletic enough for me to be satisfied, but I could always be better.

Hair cut soon? I picked up a lock, observing the frays. Nah. Let's aim for next week.

Grabbing gel and other anti-frizz serums from the cabinet, I dressed my hair like usual. I patted dry the wet skin, trying not to create red marks. Next, I washed my hands of the 'hair concoctions' and suffered the moments of stabbing my eyes with contacts; a difficult task for all who have naturally small eyes.

Glasses maybe a good investment, I thought after examining my green and red eyes.

Leaving the bathroom, I took to the closet, dressing in black sweat pants, sports bra, and green t shirt, looking like I didn't care a bit, and headed to the kitchen to make the morning coffee.

It was only 7:45 in the quiet apartment. The drab white walls were barely lit by the morning sun through the singular window. The view of the parking garage was darkened by the overcast, and very few tenants were awake. I didn't own a TV so the only form of entertainment was a semi-old computer, a Toshiba laptop, and an off brand radio.

The Mix station on the radio was a bit fuzzy but I poured the coffee in a mug. Memories, happy and sad, reeled through my head. Christmas presents, birthday candles, pinwheels, and even lady bugs brought a smile to my heart. Back then I never saw the bottles or the needles or the white powder everywhere. Almost taking a sip of the bitter liquid, I blanched at the acrid taste and placed the mug on the counter. The images of childhood were firmly shoved out of mind.

Coffee can't just be consumed black. Or without breakfast either…

Opening the fridge that dwarfed the tiny kitchen, I searched for some half-n-half.

"Dammit," I growled and slammed the door shut. Not only was there no creamer, there was barely anything to make…anything. "Dammit. Dammit. Dammit."

Slamming the door shut with a loud thud, I tried to ignore the pain in my stomach as I rummaged through one cabinet after another. Nothing. Nada. Zilch. I was far too busy to notice the footsteps climbing the metal stair case outside the apartment. Perhaps, whomever was stationed outside, had knocked once already and became impatient. A fist pounded at my flimsy wooden door.

KNOCK. KNOCK….KNOCK

"Jesus!" My body jolted from the shock, slamming my fingertips in the cabinet door. Hopping off the small counter, I danced psychotically around the kitchenette, trying to dissipate the pain.

"Coming," I said cordially enough, but muttered curses.

I grabbed the fading metal door handle and flung it open, the whoosh of air blowing a curl over my shoulder. I blinked at the wind with dry contacts.

"Hello. What can I do for you-"

I blinked once more, clearing the fuzz that dry contacts make and saw nobody standing at the door. Naturally, one looks around to see if anyone is leaving the scene, like a delivery person and such. At the bottom of the metal stair case, there was a very well suited man, muscular in frame, heading towards a parked Corvette outside the complex. Probably in his early thirties, his hair was neatly trimmed. His gait would read to any onlooker that he had a purpose and was not going to take 'no' for an answer. Instinctually, I knew that that was the person who knocked on the door. The suited man pulled a silver phone from his breast pocket and dialed a number. Continuing to watch him head towards the shiny red car, I caught him giving a distinct look in my direction, pausing a moment, and nod seriously.

"What the hell?"

I shook my head continuously, looking around the apartments to see if anybody witnessed the strange occurrence. The upper deck was void of tenants apart from me. Should I be worried?

I turned around and took a step inside. I felt the crinkling of paper under my bare feet. Upon inspection, there was a letter leaning in the bottom of the door frame. I examined its exterior and found it to be completely blank. In the light, one could see a business card sized paper lying inside.

"Did he already-"I looked behind me and found the red Corvette to be nothing more than a speck in the distance. "Guess so."

Closing the door, I sauntered into the bedroom and plopped on the unmade bed. The patchwork quilt was rumpled from sleep.

"What weird little thing did you bring me Mister I'm-So-Tough-Guy," I mocked, opening the envelope ungracefully, pulling half of the glued piece up from its seal. Instantly there was this strange aroma that wafted the air. It was faint, but strong enough to know it wasn't originally there. I brought the envelope closer to my nose and sniffed. Reaching my hand inside, I pulled out the small business card and eyed the printed phone number.

826.995.2243

Whatever the smell was, the card was soaked with it. There was a sheen of an oil-like substance coating its surface.

"Come-on," I grumbled irritably, throwing down the card on the floor and rushed to wash my hands. "I really don't have time for this!"

After drying my fingers, I grabbed my phone, keys, and sandals to head to the grocery store. I was smart enough to reside in a complex within walking distance to a Piggly-Wiggly.

It's only 8:30 or so. The market shouldn't be too busy. Making my way down the side walk from the complex, I felt the distinct urge to check over my shoulders. Surely I'm just imagining it.