Excerpt: Judgment Day (2006)
Being left behind did not bother Roxanne so much as the fact that she did not know the purpose of Glenn’s trip. It was a “secret” he had said with his boyish grin, suggesting he might be picking up a surprise for her in the City.
But Roxanne remained unconvinced. She had overheard her husband’s conversation with Dawson. They would take the Gulfstream 7, the larger of two Markley jets hangared at the Ukiah airport. It had a cross-country range and could carry over a dozen passengers. Why not use the smaller Learjet? Why use the Gulfstream on a quick trip for only two people?
Does Glenn know? she fretted silently. Did he find out?
She winced at a fleeting pang of guilt.
But Roxanne shook the tortured emotions from her head. She returned her attention to the pounding surf below. The early morning darkness was being chased away by the slowly rising sun. She glanced at the green digits of the bedside clock. It was half-past seven. Glenn would be home soon.
A wave of relief washed over her body.
She jumped from the bed, shedding the flannel pajamas as she strode to the dressing room adjacent to the bath. Rummaging through a number of choices, she selected a full-length satin nightgown with a slit cut to the thigh. She slipped it on over her head and examined herself in the full-length mirror.
The pale-green gown complemented Roxanne’s ivory complexion and long dark-red hair. From her jewelry chest she pulled out the diamond choker from Paris. It never failed to turn Glenn on…especially when it remained the only item of apparel.
She struck a provocative pose, exposing one long leg while peering seductively into the mirror. With a wicked grin, Roxanne turned to run back toward the bed.
But something caused her to stop short. Inside the dressing room, on the wall, was one of the control panels for the home’s security system. The bright red display indicated the alarm was armed. Roxanne frowned. Glenn could never remember the entry code. She would have to run down to let him in…spoiling the mood. No. She wanted him to find her propped up in bed, with one shapely leg exposed, and a flimsy satin fabric barely concealing her breasts.
That will teach him to leave me behind!
She punched in the disarm code. After all, it was almost daylight.
She turned once again and ran to the bed. She propped up the pillows and threw back the covers. Placing her back against the pillows and extending her legs, she lifted one knee brazenly through the long slit of the nightgown. Then she picked up a novel from her bed stand and attached the tiny battery-powered reading lamp.
The pounding surf subsided temporarily, and Roxanne was certain she heard the muffled click of the front door. She smiled and buried her nose in the novel, pretending to read. Instead she pictured in her mind her tall, handsome, sandy-haired husband walking through the bedroom door. He would be wearing his black leather flight jacket.
She could smell the leather and feel the hard body underneath, as he rushed to the bed and crushed her beneath him. She could feel his lips on hers and his sensitive hands caressing every inch of her body.
Roxanne’s pulse quickened. She lifted her exposed knee another inch, revealing a little more of the creamy thigh. She waited, barely breathing, purposely avoiding any glances in the direction of the bedroom doorway.
* * * * * *
The dark figure inserted a key into the door lock then turned to the keypad on the right. Hesitantly, a gloved index finger extended toward the numbered keys. Abruptly, the finger poised a few inches from the keypad.
The red light above the pad had gone out. The green light next to it was lit.
A thin smile. The timing was perfect.
The dark figure unlocked the door and walked in. There was no hesitation. Closing the door behind, the figure turned to the left and eyed the stairway.
On an automatic timer, the Christmas tree in the great room sprang to life behind the intruder. Flickering spots of light and shadow reflected from the walls around. The distraction was ignored.
The dark figure walked softly on rubber-soled shoes toward the short staircase that led to the upper level…and the master bedroom suite. After two steps the figure hesitated, regarding the home’s main circuit breaker panel on the left wall. A moment later the lights went out.
Then…fingers flexing inside tight black leather gloves…the dark figure resumed its path, slowly ascending the steps to the upper level. A black ski mask was pulled from a jacket pocket and stretched over the head. Hiding the face did not matter. But the unseen would cause terror…and fuel the heat that was already building with each step.
At the top of the stairs there was a pause to listen. Then the shadowy figure slipped silently down the darkened hall to the master bedroom door.
It would be a quick Christmas morning surprise…but not at all what the beautiful redheaded creature in the bedroom was expecting.
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