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Title: LOOK AT ME
Genre: YA Magical Realism
Men are wolves. They are hairy, snarling, creatures of the dark, with teeth that snap and hold. They’ll drain you lifeless before they release.
You disagree? That’s because most hide their slinking predator behind bright eyes and easy smiles, hands in pockets, and let me get that for you. But my eyes see the truth. My eyes pull the truth from their jaws. My eyes split their handsome skins to reveal the animal beneath.
Men are wolves and I hunt them. Watch and learn.
Tonight’s wolf is skittish.
I caught his eye this afternoon, whispered promises in his ear and had him cornered before he’d finished chewing his donut. But that was hours ago. My charms have worn off and he’s beginning to realize he’s come to the middle of nowhere, surrounded by black forest, with a woman he doesn’t know.
His instincts kick in his gut.
It doesn’t help that I’m sitting in his beige-leather passenger seat, legs crossed at the ankles, back rigid for what I’m about to do -- what he’s about to do to me. I haven’t looked at him yet. He is still thinking clearly.
He clears his throat. “Uh, so what did you say your name was, again?”
“Monique.” It’s Carly, actually. But the wolf doesn’t need to know that.
“Monique…” He tastes my name, tempting the wolf inside to out. He’s feeling weak, uncertain. He wants to feel strong. I will make him feel strong. For a time.
I suppress a shudder. “And you’re Evan? Evan Gregory?”
He nods, his eyes flipping to the rearview mirror. “Yes.”
“You’re the Founder and Managing Director of IT Solutions –- Virginia’s newest and most successful technological corporate?”
His lips curl away from his teeth. “Yes, that’s ri- wait, how did you know-?”
I turn then, meet his gaze with mine and it all happens very quickly.
His jaw drops. His eyes widen. His pupils dilate and the wolf arrives; Teeth close, tongue traces the bottom lip, muscles bunch.
My hackles rise.
“Monique,” he growls and lunges across the console between us, his hands already tearing at my clothes. He is faster than I expected -- not as soft as I imagined -- and frightening in his focus. His eyes remain clamped on mine as forces himself over me, leaves bruises on my thighs, my arms, my stomach in his hurry to take me.
I curl into a ball, but do not close my eyes. Let them see what a monster he is. Let them remember what hides in all of them. Let them be sure I know what kind of heart beats in all their chests.
But in his frustration, he tears my skirt from hem to waist. A blade of fear slices through my stomach and I open my mouth to scream the safe word-Light bathes the car. We are transported from darkest night, to brightest day. But his maddened eyes don’t break. They shine with the hunger for me.