Free Story - Maneater

By Elizabeth Black
Genre: Erotic horror
Cover art and illustrations: Gary A. Gabbard
©May, 2009 Elizabeth Black (story) and Gary A. Gabbard (illustrations) 
Free read


Ben Sykes woke up in the morning with one hell of a hangover and a dead roommate. Protesters had halted his work at a construction site in a Guyanese jungle, so Ben was left with a lot of free time on his hands. Four construction workers had died gruesome deaths during the night, and Ben wondered how he got off so easily. The men who died seems to have succumbed to allergic reactions, judging from their bloated faces and the angry rashes around their genitals. To add to his surreal situation, he was captivated by four luscious island beauties who were not what they seemed. Would Ben get to the bottom of his friend's death and the deaths of his co-workers, and in the process would he put his own life in danger?

by Elizabeth Black

Ben Sykes rose with sunlight shining in his face, making his hangover seem even more hideous than it actually was. How much Jack did I drink last night? As bile churned in his stomach he turned over in his cot, swallowing hard to keep from vomiting. I swear I'll never drink again! How often had he said that in the last week? In the last month? It wouldn't be so bad if he didn't have to turn over half his paycheck to that skanky bitch he divorced. Fuck North Jersey. He'd rather stay here in this tropical paradise and forget his apartment back in the states. All he ever did there was loaf around watching reruns of "Law & Order" anyway.

As Ben approached his drinking partner’s bed, he noticed that Olly Williams had not yet risen but that was no excuse. It was a good thing they didn’t have to work today after all the carousing they did last night. He knew there was no way in hell that Olly got one of those delicious women from the bar in bed. Ben and Olly had been friends for over twenty years and they often made bets as to who could get the local women into bed after a long night drinking. Half the time both of them lost their bets, but last night was different. Olly had been taken for a ride. Ben knew the type of woman – they make you pay out the nose for dinner and drinks and then leave you high, dry and wanting more. Ben tried to warn Olly, but he was too busy thinking with his dick to bother to listen. A bet lost is still a lost bet. That Olly likely harbored a headache as wicked as his own didn't excuse that the piker probably got stiffed, and not the way he planned. I hope you didn't think you were going to lie here all day, what with you owing me money and all. Ben kicked the mattress, but Olly did not move.

"Get out of bed, you lazy bum. You owe me a hundred bucks!"

Olly lay still, as if he didn't hear or didn't want to hear. That must be one hell of a hangover…

Ben kicked the mattress again. "Wake up, you welcher. You aren't getting out of a losing bet. Gimme my money, and let's find something to eat that I won't throw up."

He leaned over, grabbed the dirty and mildew-stained sheet and tossed it off Olly. The moment Ben had a good look at the man, he screamed. Turgid and pale, Olly Williams' face and neck had puffed up so much he looked like a summer squash that had been lying out in a wet field too long. Angry welts streaked across his bloated face and neck, ugly streaks of red over the blue pallor of death. His tongue, so swollen that his mouth could not close over it, had turned black. Odd circular wheals had grown on his neck and chest, marks unlike anything Ben had ever seen before. Repulsed, he rubbed his hands against his stained cotton pants as if he could remove the feel of dirty sheet that way and ran from the room.


Olly was one of four men who died the previous night and all of them exhibited similar wounds. Ben wondered why he hadn’t wound up a bloated mess like Olly. Man, if I hadn’t left the bar early, I’d be looking like that now. Suddenly, his hangover seemed less intense, considering how last night could have turned out.

Later in the morning at a hospital that looked like it was in dire need of some government funded upkeep, Ben's supervisor, Andrew Montgomery, argued with the police chief who came to the emergency room. Ben suspected the chief was as clueless as to what was going on as he was.

"So it looks like the protesters got their way after all. Construction is to be shut down until further notice." The site had been plagued by native protesters carrying signs and they had jammed the big earth movers  by pouring sugar in the gas tanks and slashing tires. "This land is paid for, and we will be taking the jungle down. Like it or not, a resort is going up before the next rainy season. I don't take to kindly to tree-huggers sabotaging construction because they want to save a rainforest."

"I understand your concerns, Senor Montgomery. We have arrested a few individuals, and they will be charged and arraigned shortly."

"Good. I'm glad to see someone around here is doing their job. It's not like we're tearing down the entire rainforest. We’re only building on a few thousand feet for a resort that will bring hundreds of jobs to this area."

You mean "why aren't they properly grateful"? Ben needed the money, otherwise he would never have accepted the job. Paying alimony and child support to that ungrateful and greedy skank was a bitch, but a man had to do what a man had to do. Once he returned to Jersey he was going to appeal the divorce agreement. Why should he have to pay out the nose, live on scraps each month and drive a clunker when his ex got new nail tips every two weeks and dragged her fat ass to a spa everyday? That her wealthy second husband was actually paying for all that, usually escaped Ben's attention.

Despite his whining about all the money leaving his paycheck every month he liked the construction gigs. They took him to far-away and exotic lands full of hot and sexy women; his for the taking. Or at least he thought so until last night. Who the hell did those women think they were, taking a man's hard-earned money from him and giving nothing in return?

While he worked hard every day on a job that was likely to bring new work to the impoverished town how did the locals act? They slashed the front-loader's tires, poured sugar in gas tanks and picketed in front of the dig site. On the one hand, he wondered why the locals would reject much-needed work, while on the other hand, he saw their point about protecting the rainforest. He had seen colorful birds with curved beaks that he had never seen before in his life. He was lucky enough to get a picture of a scarlet ibis. He had seen pictures of them in books, but seeing one live and in person was so much more impressive. When he saw his first blue saki, he thought it looked like a finch that had been dipped in blueberry juice. Lovely bird. His first fresh and local papaya tasted much more sweet and clean than the ones that he bought in the grocery store at home. He had seen water lilies in New Jersey, but none as big and as lovely as the ones in the shallow waters near the dig site. When he saw his first stinking passion flower he was amazed at how fetid the plant smelled. He had never smelled anything like it in his entire life. What made it more astounding was that it was a beautiful flower nearly 6 cm in diameter and pure white. But that stink! The sewage treatment plant down the street from his house didn't smell that bad. The animals were just as fascinating. He loved watching the sea turtles that rested in the sun on the beaches. He had heard the call of the giant otter but he had not yet seen one. Capuchins, jaguarundi, sloths and a wide variety of bats, squirrels and opossums lived in the area. He had seen a capybara, which is the largest living rodent in the world, and it made the city rats in New Jersey look like field mice. He was happy to pave the way for progress but he also regretted plowing through such a diverse bioculture.

Plus, he had heard that the local dissatisfaction was more complex than what the company was telling him. Something about angering spirits that weren't happy about the encroachment of civilization in their territory. It was the usual local superstitious nonsense he had heard on similar gigs in the tropics over the years. He hadn't paid any attention to superstition until he saw Olly's bloated face that morning.

A small crowd ran down the hall with a gurney. People along the hallway shoved each other to the walls so that they wouldn't be run over by the fast-moving medical interns.

"¡Muevansen! ¡Muevansen! ¡ Paciente con emergencia. A un lado por favor!"

As the gurney flew by, Ben looked at the man writhing on it and recognized Mel Franks, one of the men in his unit. Foam spewed from the corners of his mouth, which was swollen to twice its size. His throat and face had swollen so much that he almost didn't recognize him.

"I know that man. He's one of my work buddies. What the hell is going on?"

"Please step back sir. We need to attend to him."

"I'm not going anywhere until someone tells me what's going on."

Franks shook so hard that his body made the gurney jump on the floor. Medical attendants tried to hold him down but to no avail. Ben watched, helpless to intervene and confused as to what was happening.

"¡Necesito 250 ccs de epinefrina, STAT!"

An intern stabbed Mel in the thigh with a syringe but the adrenaline had no effect. Mel's face changed from a shade of blue to the color of oatmeal within less than a minute. Forcing air into his windpipe did not help since his windpipe was completely swollen shut. Intubation was unsuccessfu, and the sound of his stridor was so distressing to Ben that he put his hands over his ears to keep from hearing the high-pitched wheezing. Air could not get into his lungs because his breathing was compromised due to bronchospasms and a mucosal edema to his lower airway. The machine beeping his heart rate went from a quick 95 beats per minute to stammering until his heart rate fell below 50 and then simply stopped.

"Hora de muerte, 8:42 de la manana."

"What's going on here? Why are so many people dying?"

"This one looked like anaphylactic shock, sir. Just like the others."

"What others? This man was a friend of mine. My roommate also died of similar symptoms. Is there some kind of plague going around?"

"I seriously doubt it, sir. Your friend and this man died of an allergic reaction."

A man dressed in scrubs who walked with an air of authority approached the two men. "I might be able to answer your questions. I'm the doctor in charge."

"Yes, I'd like to know why so many men I work with are dropping like flies." Ben said. Hell, he wondered when he was going to fall over in his bunk, swollen and unable to breathe, dying before he knew what was wrong. "My roommate died last night and he completely swelled up. I've never seen anything like it before. What the hell is going on around here?'

"I've seen that kind of reaction before, sir. He must have gotten caught in a drifting school of jellyfish. His welts are from jellyfish tentacles and he went into shock from an allergic reaction. However, something doesn't quite match up."

"What do you mean?" Ben asked.

"I don't know how to say this delicately so I'll be blunt. Most of the welts are around his genitals and groin. I found the same with the other men who died. There is also evidence of a fluid that the coroner can't identify."

"You mean he fucked a jellyfish? Look, I know Olly was drunk, but he wasn't that drunk."

"I’m only reporting what the coroner found and what I saw. The initial site of injury was his genitals."

That made no sense to Ben. Olly was scared of the water. In the twenty years he had known Olly, he had never even seen him jump into the deep end of a swimming pool, that's how scared of water he was. He didn't care how clear it was here in the tropics, he was always afraid of either drowning or being touched by squid, rays, little slimy fish, gross and disgusting eels or you name it. Sushi bar? Forget it. Ben couldn't even get him on a jet ski because he was afraid of falling off. It's a good thing they traveled to the Caribbean by plane because there was no way in hell Olly would ever travel by boat. Why Olly bothered to travel to the Caribbean at all made Ben wonder since Olly hated traveling to the region at all. The money was good but not that good, even if he did travel by plane.

Olly won't travel by plane anymore…

"That's not all. There's more. The coroner found odd, circular contusions on his skin along his arms, chest, stomach, legs and back. They had also puffed up and each contusion contained barbs as if from a jellyfish, but I'm not aware of any such jellyfish in these waters. Plus the circular contusions look as if they are from the tentacles of a squid but no squid around here would harm a human. They're skittish. They'd flee before attacking anyone. These wounds make no sense."

"So he wasn't attacked by jellyfish?"

"That's the problem, Mr. Sykes. We really don't know what attacked him. All the signs point to either a school of jellyfish – which makes some sense - or a squid – which is unlikely."

"Are you going to close the beach?"

"Yes. Signs are up now and the policia are stationed at the beach. This is a bad time for that. It's the peak of tourist season. Your friend was one of five men who died similar deaths last night and now add the man who just came in to the list." The doctor handed him a small pen-like device. "Keep this bee sting kit with you at all times. It's called an EpiPen. It has one dose of epinephrine in case you are stung by a bee, wasp or jellyfish. If you feel an allergic reaction coming on just give yourself a shot in the thigh with the EpiPen and hold it in place for about ten seconds. That gives the anti-venom a chance to get into your muscle. Then get to the hospital even if you feel okay. You can never be too careful."

"Thank you for keeping me informed and thanks for the bee kit. If you get more information, please contact me at the hotel."

So Olly had an allergic reaction to a school of jellyfish? According to the cops, five men from the construction team had died from anaphylactic shock overnight. Ben had seen reactions to bee stings before but they never looked as bad as Olly looked that morning lying on his cot. He didn't believe for a second that Olly was felled by a school of jellyfish. For one thing, Olly was morbidly afraid of swimming in the ocean.

His booze-addled brain fought to bring forth memories of the night before. They had been taking turns playing quarters with a bottle of Jack Daniels when Olly eyed up a gaggle of gorgeous women sitting at a table behind the bar and he was hell bent and determined to get one of them in bed for the night. Ben would have joined him but he was so drunk on bourbon that he doubted he'd be able to get it up. He and Olly flirted with the women, challenging them to several games of quarters, but those women could drink both men under the table. Where did they put the booze, in their feet? Each of them ate a full meal of grouper and fried conch following a shrimp cocktail appetiser and then munching bar peanuts the rest of the night while downing their shots of Jack. Ben never had so much fun in his life. While all five women were easy on his eyes, one in particular stood out for him. Darya was nearly six feet of gorgeous coffee coloured sinew. He flirted boldly with her, touching her on her arm here and her thigh there, the booze making him much more aggressive than he would have been when sober. Touching her skin made his fingertips tingle, and not in a figurative way. His fingertips actually turned pink and itched. It had to be the booze, what else could cause his fingers to itch like that? While he could drink his share of liquor, those women gave him a run for his money. Could they ever drink! He'd down a shot of Jack and Darya would down her shot without blinking an eye. How could she hold her liquor at her size? As slim as they were, he was surprised they were able to stand upright when they walked out with Olly at the end of the night. Ben wanted to join them but he could not think straight let alone walk in a straight line. He barely made it to the restroom to splash cold water on his face, which did nothing to keep the room from spinning. He was so jealous. Olly stumbles home with five gorgeous women and Ben stumbles home to an empty cot. The only lovin' he would have gotten was the Five Finger Mambo if he hadn't passed out first.

And then Olly ended up fish food. What a horrible way to go.

Ben thought of the drinking games and the full meals they enjoyed the night before when he returned to the bar that afternoon, hoping to see one of those women to find out if they knew what happened to Olly after he left. And maybe, if he played his cards right he could actually go home with one of them. Considering how much cash Olly shelled out on his last night on earth, it was the least those women could do.

The Barima Restaurant and Bar was a hole-in-the-wall that most tourists would bypass in favor of a fancier eatery. Ben knew from previous trips to the tropics that he would find the best and cheapest food and drink in a place frequented by the locals. Avoid tourist traps like the plague. They steal your money and serve food that you can find in a local joint at half the price. A lover of curry since his first overseas construction gig a decade ago, he felt an urge for some chicken roti. Feeling the hangover give way to hunger he walked into the Barima, hoping that he'd be able to keep his food down.

As he finished his roti and after the waitress placed a plate of fried plantain on his table, a group of lovely local women walked into the Barima. He recognized his Darya and the woman that Olly had been so interested in. Tall, with skin the color of coffee, Darya strode into the Barima on long slender legs. Her black bushy hair hung down below her ass. She was one of the sexiest women he had ever seen and Ben remembered how much she got under his skin the night before because he felt a boner grow in his pants.

Darya waved at him. He stood and walked to her table.

"Hello Ben, it's good to see you again. Why don't you join us?"

"Thank you Darya. I'd be happy to finish my lunch with you."

He liked being surrounded by a table of beautiful women. He had seen lovely women before but none of them were as gorgeous as these five. They seemed too gorgeous to be real. Each one was over five foot nine, with the tallest – Soraya – being five foot eleven. While all of them were stunning, one gaze from Darya made Ben feel weak at the knees.

He took a close look at her and noticed that her features seemed a bit… off. He really hadn't noticed her unusual looks last night. Her almond-shaped hazel eyes seemed a bit too slanted and her pupils were huge. Much bigger than what he had seen in other women. Hell, in other people. Her eyes protruded from her sockets so far that he wondered how she was ever able to close them. Fish eyes… they look like fish eyes. He did not often see her blink and her intense stare seemed to lured him in. Her ears were small and delicate, pointed slightly at the top and curled against her skull. A flat broad nose perched above full lips hiding perfect white teeth that seemed a bit too big for her mouth. Despite all the minor imperfections, when viewed as a whole she looked perfect, if not a bit unsettling.

"I heard about Olly. So very sorry," Darya said. News travels fast in these parts.

"Thanks, it was quite a shock. I’m the one who found him this morning and I can't get his face out of my mind," While he knew that Olly had tagged along with them, he knew he couldn't have gotten far. Olly could be hard to shake off, especially when he was horny. "After he paid for your dinner and drinks, where did you all go? I should have come along but I was much drunker than he was. Do you have any idea what happened to him or where he went last night? I have a hard time believing he walked into the ocean drunk. He was scared of the water."

"We know, but he did wade in it a little bit. Maybe he walked in too far. After all, he was drunk," Haseena said as she skewered a bit of conch and put it in her mouth. Hypnotized, Ben watched her chew, her jaws seeming to be too small for her narrow face.

"When we left him, he was sitting in a café, drinking black coffee to sober up," Darya said. "We don't know what happened to him after that. We couldn't stop Olly from buying us our food and drink last night. He wanted to do that."

"And what did he get in return? Stung to death by jellyfish?"

"Ben, we're very sorry about what happened to him. It took us completely by surprise. Why don't you sit here with us and enjoy our company?" Darya said. She put a bit of her meal on her fork and held it out to Ben. "Would you like to try this? It's very good."

"What is it?"

"Sea trout salad. It's delicious, I’m sure you'll like it."

As she put the food in his mouth she gazed at him with those large eyes. Savoring the taste of succulent herbs, he recognized the flavor of yams and trout in a combination he never would have guessed could have worked together.

"Not bad. It's pretty good."

"Would you like a prawn?"

"Yes I would."

Darya let her fingers slide into his mouth as she fed him and he licked each finger one at a time, promising much more than friendly conversation over seafood. His tongue and cheeks tingled as he licked and sucked and he felt the tingling move down his mouth to his groin. Must be something in the food, some additive. The sensation was unexpected but very pleasant. As he licked and sucked Darya's fingers he made a point of staring into her eyes and he knew his intentions were unmistakable. He wanted to do much more than share a lunch with her. Thoughts of Olly and his bloated face were the farthest from his mind. His gaze traveled from her face to her small breasts and down to her long slender legs. I bet she'd be a hellion in bed, and I want to find out how much.

"Darya, you can't have him all to yourself," Haseena said as she ran one hand down his back. "How long are you here, Ben?"

"Until the end of the month, as far as I know, but construction has stopped so I'm really not sure."

"Why was construction stopped? The deaths?"

"Yes. Until the authorities learn what caused those deaths the project is at a stand-still."

Did he see a smile creep across Darya's face? If he did, it was gone in a flash. "That means you have time off so we can enjoy more of your company. Why don't you stop by my house tonight, and we'll take proper care of you

The waitress walked over, but she didn't seem to be as friendly as she had been when he sat alone. He knew that their voices were raised and the girl probably couldn't help but overhear the tension in their conversation. The only tension came from Ben. Darya and Haseena seemed to not care less. Ben eyed the waitress who seemed to want to get as far away from their table as possible. When Haseena reached out one slender long-fingered hand to touch the girl on the wrist, she recoiled as if she had been touched by a snake.

"Are you okay?" Ben asked.

"I'm fine, sir. Does anyone need anything?"

"I'd like vodka on the rocks." Haseena said. The others were fine. Ben asked for his bill. The waitress nodded and fled the table. She couldn't put enough distance between herself and her customers and Ben wondered why. When he had stopped to talk to the waitress he had also looked around the room and he became alarmed and confused at what he saw.

Everyone in the room had stopped eating. At first, Ben thought they were staring at him, which he had expected since he was one of those responsible for destroying their rainforest to build a resort, but he soon realized that they were staring at his lunch guests. Their expressions were a mixture of disgust and fear. But why? Why would anyone be afraid of five lovely women?

"We're very sorry about Olly. Why don't you stop by my house later, Ben? We all live by the cove at Jaguar Beach. My house is easy to find, there is a statue of a woman holding a water jar in our courtyard. We would like to serve you a meal tonight, since such sorrow has brought us together. How about dinner time, say 4 pm? We'll have dinner ready at 5? It's the least we could do. We didn't know Olly at all but we liked him." She grinned a feral toothy smile that seemed so animal-like, but the creases at the corners of her eyes were friendly. At least, they appeared friendly. Could have been sun damage for all he knew.

"Thank you. I'd love to come by tonight, that's very kind of you."

Darya smiled again and he felt a shiver run down his spine. Her grin seemed so sexy yet menacing at the same time. He was fascinated and he wanted to know more about her. "It's the least we can do."

As he walked out the door, the waitress accosted him, grabbed him by the arm and walked him to the street.

"Please sir, you must leave and never come back."

"Why? Aren't I a good customer? I've never caused you any problems."

"I don't mean to the restaurant. I mean you must go back to the United States and never return here."

"But why?"

"If the construction isn't stopped, there will be more deaths and there is nothing anyone can do to stop them."

"Stop who?"

"Just listen to me. Leave while you still can and avoid their home at Jaguar Beach. You should not go there tonight, they are June Bee. Stay away from them, please heed my warning."

Before he could question her further she ran back into the restaurant. He didn't see what the problem could be. Was Jaguar Cove in a bad part of town? Those women might be a bit strange looking but what could they possibly do to hurt him? And what was a… what did she say… a "June Bee"? He had no idea what she was talking about. Those women might be tall but they couldn't hurt him. They weren't very big. The tallest one couldn't have weighed more than 125 pounds. He could throw her across the room if push came to shove.

But what if all five of them ganged up on him at one time? Oh, now don't be silly. Why would they do that?

And, what was a June Bee?

Just to be on the safe side, he felt for the switchblade he always kept on his person. It was in its sheath around his ankle where he always kept it. No matter who attacked him, he would take out a chunk of flesh.

Since he had the day off he decided to do a little sight-seeing. Curious to learn what a June Bee was he found his way to the local library, or the two story house that pretended to be a library. An elderly man stood at the main desk, just the person he wanted to see.

"Hello, sir. I was wondering if you could help me. I'm looking for some information about local customs."

"I'd be happy to help you, sir. What do you need to know?"

"Could you please tell me what a June Bee is"?

The man knitted his eyebrows, and looked at Ben with a confused expression on his face.

"I doubt you mean the insect, which is a June Bug. Who told you about this June Bee?"

"A waitress at the Barima restaurant mentioned June Bee to me. She said that five women who live in Jaguar Cove were June Bees. I have no idea what she was talking about."

The man's laugh was good-natured but far from relieved. "My dear young man, she said ’Jumbie‘, J-U-M-B-I-E. Jumbie are a type of spirit or demon indigenous to this area. There are said to be Jumbie living in Jaguar Cove. I hope you aren't planning to visit Jaguar Cove, there are many other local areas that are much nicer."

"I've been invited there tonight for dinner and I would like to go."

"Jaguar Cove is home to the Jumbie and you would be wise to avoid it. Jumbie are very old and some of them live in the water. They can be very seductive and hard to resist, and they come to land to claim their victims. I wish I could change your mind about going there tonight. You are a friend of the construction workers who were killed today?"

"Yes. One was my best friend."

"If you don't want to end up like them, stay away from Jaguar Cove."

He spent some time looking for information about Jumbie, but he didn't learn much more than what the old man had told him. None of the descriptions of Jumbie sounded like what had attacked Olly and Mel. The Bush Dai Dai was the closest, but that creature seduced men in mines and later attacked and killed them as if it were a wild animal. It didn't make men die of allergic reactions.

Oh, what are you thinking? Of course those women aren't Bush Dai Dai. They might have looked a little strange, they looked a little like fish to be honest, but they were perfectly human and he was sure they knew exactly what had really happened to Olly. Besides, how could he turn down a dinner invitation with five hot women?

Ben left the library, knowing not much more than when he entered. Not being superstitious he refused to let talk of Jumbie change his mind about joining those women for dinner. If they were responsible for what had happened to Olly he would get to the bottom of it. Now all he needed to do was to find directions to Jaguar Cove and find transportation there.

He walked into a bar and hailed the bartender, who was very amiable until he learned where Ben wanted to go.

"Could you tell me where Jaguar Cove is?"

"Why do you want to go to Jaguar Cove?"

"I am meeting someone there. She's expecting me in a few hours."

"Turn her down. You don't want to go there."

"Why not?"

The man turned away from Ben and dried a glass with a towel.

"What it is with everyone in this town? What's wrong with Jaguar Cove?"

"Don't go there. You don't want to find yourself alone in Jaguar Cove, especially after dark."

A town able to inspire such dislike in it its neighbors, he thought, must be at least rather unusual, and worthy of a tourist's attention.

"Will a taxi take me there?"

"No taxi. There is a bus, but it won't go to Jaguar Cove."

"Too far?"

"No. It won't go to Jaguar Cove. No one goes there. Just let it go. Stay here in town and enjoy the food and beaches here."

"The beaches are closed."

"Then enjoy the food and nightlife. Much better than Jaguar Cove anyway."

Ben didn't know where else to turn. He was not going to let Darya get away from him again. He walked around town, looking for some means of transportation to Jaguar Cove, but he didn't think he was going to get there other than on his own two feet. As he wandered around town he spied several bicycles sitting in front of a small corner house. Maybe the owner would rent him a bike so that he could get to Jaguar Cove before nightfall. He approached the owner, an elderly man who sat in front of his store, drinking a beer.

"Hello, sir, I'd like to rent a bike."

"Where are you going?"

"Why does that matter?"

"I need to know where you are going."

Ben knew this wasn't going to be good. He sighed, waiting for the worst. "I'm going to Jaguar Cove."

"Not on one of my bikes you're not."

"Why not? What is wrong with Jaguar Cove?"

"You'd best be on your way."

"I don't believe in your Jumbie or whatever you call it."

"It would be better for you if you did. The Jumbie are angry because your construction has destroyed the rainforest. You would be wise to stay out of Jaguar Cove."

"How am I supposed to get there?"

The man sighed, ready to give up. "I see you won't be dissuaded. You get there on foot. You should start walking now, it will take you a few hours."

"How about if I buy one of your bikes from you."

"My bikes are not for sale."

"Please? I don't want to walk all the way there," He pointed to what must have been a ten speed that was new when Reagan was President. "How about that one for five dollars?"

"Fifty dollars."

"Fifty?? What is this, highway robbery?"

"Fifty or be on your way. I know I will never see this bike again if I rent it to you, so you buy it for fifty dollars to make up for my loss."

Ben fished fifty dollars out of his pocket. "You drive a hard bargain, sir."

The man pocketed the cash, and gave Ben a hard look. "It would be better if you avoided Jaguar Cove altogether, young man, but I know you won't. Whatever you do, don't go in the water. And don't let those women touch you, no matter how tempting they are. You'd be best off staying here in town but everyone knows you aren't going to do that. Best of luck to you. Stay on the road, and follow it for about eight miles. Take the trail at the sign for Jaguar Beach. Jaguar Cove is on the right about two miles in. You can't miss it, there is nothing else out there. God bless you, son. You're going to need it."

By the time Ben had pedaled one mile, rain fell in a steady stream around him. It felt cool and soothing in the oppressive tropical heat. He also knew the rain would not last long. Seasonal showers fell fast and hard and usually for only a few minutes. It was too bad he didn't have a raincoat but he knew once the rain stopped he would be dry in no time.

The dilapidated sign to Jaguar Beach was so overgrown with vines that he almost missed it. Taking the trail, he looked for any sign of human life. Jungle growth was to the left of the trail with tall trees bucking in the high winds, while he saw a churning ocean on the right side, breaking waves rushing the shore in a frenzy of foaming whitecaps. I thought the rainy season was over. The sky had turned dark the moment the rain started and there was no sunlight to be seen anywhere. This storm seemed uglier than the oppressive heat relieving summer squalls he had often witnessed in the area. Which sky god did he piss off by biking all the way out here? Jaguar Cove was in the middle of Butt Fuck Nowhere and now he was stuck there in a torrential rainstorm, no less.

Just up ahead on the right he saw a run down series of single storied homes. Tall trees covered with bright pink flowers decorated the entrance to a courtyard. The sweet scent from the flowers was so strong that Ben felt a headache coming on. As he biked into the courtyard the rain suddenly lifted the way it usually does in the tropics. Ben had often worked in tropical locales but he could never get used to those rainstorms. They ended as quickly as they started. Within a couple of minutes, the sun shined high in the sky and the heat warmed his wet skin. He knew his hair would be dry in less than ten minutes.

A small stone sign said "Jaguar Cove", but he never would have noticed it if he hadn't stopped directly in front of it. Covered with vines, as were most of the houses in the area, the sign was cracked and darkened with age and lack of care. The windows of the house to his left were boarded up and vines covered the walls and part of the roof. Small pink and fragrant flowers bloomed on the vines, their faces turning towards the hot sun. The scent of the flowers was overpowering and Ben approached the house to get a better look at them. At first glance they looked like honeysuckle or the red tube-shaped flowers he had often seen on his tropical jaunts, but these flowers were thicker, pulpier and their scent was sickeningly sweet. The smell drove into his skull like a railroad tie and it made his head ache. He reached out to touch a bloom and its petals pulled inward, moving away from his hand.

Woah. I wasn't expecting that.

He waved a hand at the flowers, and each of them pulled their petals inward, creating as much distance as they could between their softness and his fingertips. Maybe they were like those sensitive plants his ex-wife often grew. When he touched the leaves they folded into themselves. These flowers were not much different.

Keep convincing yourself of that, Ben.

Wondering if he should turn around and go back to town, he paused on the bike. While that voice at the back of his head that he never listened to told him to get away from Jaguar Cove, he was too curious to simply leave after pedaling the long distance it took to get there. Feeling his switchblade firmly attached to his ankle, he felt safer than he would have felt without it. Knowing that Olly likely spent his last coherent moments in this godforsaken cove drove him on too. Ben needed to know what had happened to his good friend. He wandered further into the courtyard, over broken flagstone with moss growing in the cracks. The house with the moving flowers seemed deserted so he doubted anyone lived there. Does anyone live in any of these houses? He wondered if Olly had come here the night he died. What happened to him out here? Ben was determined to find out and he knew the answer lay with Darya.

As he wandered further into what looked like a neighborhood hidden behind palm trees and freakish flowering vines, he saw that some of the homes were occupied. Whilst their yards were not overgrown with brush, neither were they well-tended gardens. It seemed to be more like the wild underbrush was just being kept under control before it could get out of hand. As he moved further into the area the sound of waves crashing on the beach became louder. He knew he was moving closer to the shore. He saw run-down courtyards, but no sign of a statue of a woman carrying a jug.

A wet slithering sound came from behind him and made him turn around. He expected to see some kind of animal, but he was alone. He saw that the brush which butted up to the back of one of houses moved slightly, as if tussled by an unseen hand, but nothing was there. A sudden keening in the vines facing the ocean made Ben jump. He had never heard such a sound before. It sounded like no animal he had ever run across.

When he reached a fork in the path, the scent of sweet flowers gave way to curry and garlic. Relieved at finally finding something familiar, even if it was only the smell of delicious spices and herbs, he pressed onwards through the wandering path. He checked his watch and saw that it was approaching 4 pm. He decided it was better to be early than late, especially with the sky looking like it was going to dump another load of rain on him any second. Sunbeams peeked through the clouds, illuminating the path, yet dark storm clouds grew on the horizon, melding together to take up more and more of the sky. If he didn't find Darya's house soon, he'd end up stuck outside in another torrential rainstorm.

He followed the delicious smell of food cooking, trying his best to ignore the blooms that followed him as he walked past them, but he couldn't help but see them twitch out of the corner of his eye. Those are the creepiest plants I've ever seen in my entire life! Although he refused to look at them, knowing they were there following his every move made goosebumps grow on his arms. Weeds grew in the cracks between flagstones and vines blocked his path. Tearing at the vines so that he could get past them, their sap stuck to his hands and arms, making him itch. Red bumps grew quickly on his skin and scratching the bumps only made them itch more. What was this stuff, poison ivy? When he finally got to Darya's house, he hoped she would have some skin ointment in her medicine cabinet.

Past the itching vines was another stone pathway and he followed it to another courtyard. When he saw the statue of the woman holding a water jar over her head he knew he was in the right place. Four houses faced the courtyard while the path continued down to a small run-down, private beach. The houses looked occupied but only one had lights on so he walked towards the light. Those delicious curry smells came from the lit home and he realized he was famished.

When he walked to the door and knocked, Haseena answered the door, inviting him in. Darya stood at the stove dressed in a skimpy sundress and no shoes, stirring a pot of what smelled like split pea soup. The dress barely covered her, riding up her ass and revealing quite a bit of thigh. One spaghetti strap dipped over her shoulder. The dress was too tight and it hugged every curve on her body. Ben felt that familiar stirring in his pants. He knew she had put on that tight dress just to drive him mad, and it worked. The other three women sat on a couch in the living room, close to the back sliding door, as if to keep guard.

"Let me get you some dry clothes, Ben. It looks like you were caught in one of our showers," Haseena said as she left the room.

"What happened to your arms?" Darya asked as she gingerly fingered the bumps on his skin, which had turned to welts. The itching drove him mad. He badly wanted to scratch but he knew that was the worst thing to do.

"The vines outside have a sap that irritated my skin and make me itch."

"Let me find some ointment for you. I know what vines you're talking about. They're terrible. They’re all over the place here. Come with me to the bathroom, there is ointment in the medicine cabinet."

They walked down a narrow hallway to a small bathroom. Darya opened a utilitarian medicine cabinet and pulled out a crumpled tube and Haseena appeared in the doorway holding dry pants and a dry shirt.

He stared at the way the dress hugged her form, and because he couldn't help himself, he lifted the spaghetti strap with two fingers and slid it back into place on her shoulder. Instead of removing his hand, he let it rest on her warm skin. The nerve endings in his palm jumped at the touch, tingling as he let his hand run down the length of her arm. Eyeing up her body he raised his other hand to rest his palm against her other shoulder. She's not resisting. Good. I know what I want, and she knows why I'm here. I'll probably find out what she knows about Olly, too. Her skin felt warm and moist, sweaty and slick from the heat. Inhaling deeply he took in her musky scent. His palms itched from merely touching her skin but he didn't care. He wanted to feel her, to get inside her, and he knew it was only a matter of minutes until he got her where he wanted her.

She drew closer to him and whispered in his ear. "First, let's get you out of these wet clothes. I have a clean towel and I will dry you off."

One by one, she undid the buttons on his shirt until she was able to slide it down his shoulders. Although he didn't want to stop caressing her arms, he let go, and the moment he did he saw the red rash on his palms Where did that come from? As the shirt fell to the floor she squeezed his biceps, taking his mind off his hands. Her long fingers dug into his taut muscles, arousing him further with her touch. In the bright light of the bathroom the welts on his arms looked ugly and raw. He itched as if tiny little bugs crawled beneath the surface of his skin, begging to be dug out.

"What happened to your arms?" He had forgotten Haseena stood next to him.

"The knotweed vines," Darya said as she squeezed ointment onto her palm. The ointment smelled like wintergreen and lavender. Very pleasant. "Sap got on him."

She rubbed the ointment onto his forearms, and immediately the itching stopped. Feeling immense relief with  the itch subsiding, he relaxed as her hands rubbed ointment onto his arms while Haseena massaged the tight muscles in his back. He melted into her embrace as she pressed her full lips against his shoulder. Her tongue working his skin, leaving a trail of saliva along his neck. His skin tingled, much the same way his mouth tingled when he had licked Darya's fingers at the Barima. Although he wasn't sure where the sensation came from – or why it came – he enjoyed it. He didn't care, he didn’t want an explanation. He just wanted to lose himself in the sensation of it all, especially as they wasted no time getting down to business, which was what he wanted from them in the first place.

Haseena's hands made their way to his trousers and in moments they were draped around his ankles. Her fingers left a tingling trail in their wake as she explored his body. Every muscle, every sinew jumped at her touch. Darya washed her hands, and facing him, pressed her fingers against his chest, pinching his nipples until they stood at attention. His erection pressed against his briefs, begging to be sucked. Even though he didn't have any luck with them last night, they made up for the neglect, today. Darya took his head in her hands and kissed him full on, tongue in his mouth. Her taste was electric, full bodied, and with that familiar tingle. Ben's tongue slid onto hers and he lost himself in her deep kiss. His head spun, and he wanted to lie down. His pulse throbbing in his neck and in his groin, he wanted her badly. Between the two of them – Darya and Haseena – he was going to come in his briefs if he didn't do something to slow things down. More than anything, he needed to come up for some air.

He turned his head towards the large picture window at the end of the bathroom and saw those pink tube-shaped vine flowers facing him as if they watched him get aroused by the two hot women. Trying to control his passion he noticed that the sun faced away from the house. Why aren't they facing the sun? Why are they watching me?

Unsteadily he asked, "Do you know anything about those pink flowers that move when you touch them?"

Darya's laugh sounded like wind chimes. "Yes, the Pinkheart Vine. Very odd flower seen in the Cove. It probably scared you first time you saw it."

"It certainly did weird me out."

"Enough about the vine. Dinner will be ready soon, but I think we have enough time to have a little fun. That's what you came here for, isn't it, Ben?"

"You know I did, to make up for last night."

"That's why we're not wasting any time. Don’t worry, you'll get what's coming to you."

Her hand traveled from his firm chest, down his stomach, to his erection. She flashed her feral grin at him, making him shiver.

Lightning flashed outside as the women guided him to their bedroom, and he grinned like it was his first time when he saw what greeted him at the four corners of the bed. Shackles had been chained to the top of the bed while an ankle spreader-bar lay at the foot. All of Ben’s apprehensions about the vines and the women fled him as he positioned himself on the mattress, thunder crashed in the distance so loudly that it rattled the clay masks hanging on the walls. He had never used bondage toys before and he was ready to submit to Darya's whims. He would lose himself in her embrace and do whatever she demanded.
Ben looked in the direction of the sound. The wall facing the ocean was one long open patio door window with a panoramic view of the crashing waves. Rain pelted the beach, leaving puddles in the sand. Waves crashed against the rocks on the shore and the water glowed an iridescent green. This storm was nothing like the quick and light summer squalls he had grown used to. Rain fell hard and cold, forcing a cool breeze into the bedroom that cut through his skin to get to his very bones.
Darya crouched atop him, around his torso, looking very much like a wild animal, with her long bushy hair flowing about her head like a lion's mane. She was the sexiest woman he had ever seen. There was something wild about her, not quite human, and he couldn't resist her touch. Although the tingling he felt at her touch made him feel somewhat uncomfortable, the discomfort was strangely exciting. Pleasure to go with the pain he thought. Her eyes opened wide, staring through him as she held his wrists in her hands. She pulled up on him until his head was on a down feather pillow that smelled of mildew. Yanking on his wrist, she pulled until his arm had stretched its full length and she restrained it in a shackle. While the restraints were tight over his wrists, they felt comfortable. She did the same to his left wrist. Bending over him, she ran her tongue and lips over his throat and shoulder and then down his chest and onto his belly. Her trail of saliva felt warm and tingly, leaving a trail of bumps that rose on his skin. They itched, but with his wrists restrained he could not scratch. The itching heightened his sense of touch and made his skin all the more sensitive. In moments he would be her prisoner and he realized he was really getting off on it. Normally Ben took charge in bed, but this was different, welcome, and exciting for him. On his back without the use of his arms he gave in to the feeling of helplessness and found himself becoming aroused at the lack of control. Desperately wanting to scratch his skin, he squirmed on the bed. With one quick movement, Haseena tore off his briefs and tossed them onto the floor. Gripping his ankles in their hands, both women soon has his legs immobilized in the bar restraint. He unable to move and totally at their mercy.
Grabbing the bar in her hands, Haseena moved Ben's legs upward until his knees were against his chest. Bum exposed and cheeks spread, his asshole was open to the world. Darya licked one long finger and inserted it slowly inside. Ben tightened around her as she twisted her finger slowly to and fro and he felt an itch grow deep inside. He closed his eyes, giving into the sensation. Yes, deeper! Deeper! As he opened his eyes, she grabbed something from a bedroom dresser he had not noticed before, and as she held it up to the light he knew was it was – an anal dildo unlike any he had ever seen before. This one was slender, purple and curved at one end.
He balked, and his asshole slammed shut. There's no way she's going to stick that thing in me.
Gazing at him with wide-open fish eyes that never seemed to close, she grinned as she slid the dildo deep inside herself. He heard slopping sounds as the dildo sloshed about inside her. She must already be wet, and she doesn’t need a lube. When she removed the dildo it was covered with glistening fluid. Slick and lubricated, she slowly slid the dildo deep inside his ass, moving slowly, a little at a time, giving him time to get used to it. Although he resisted at first, he had no choice but to give in and he relaxed and accepted the intrusion.
As the dildo made its way inside, his anus tightened around it. He had never used an anal dildo before, and he was surprised to realize that he liked the tight sensation. It slid right in with Darya's thick pussy juice around it, and as his sphincter tightened around it, he arched his back to take more of it in. He liked the feel of Darya's juice although it made him itch. He wanted her to dig her nails into his ass and scratch him until he bled. Squirming on the mattress, he writhed as she pushed the dildo deeper inside, twisted it from side to side, and his ass burned and itched so much he could barely contain himself. He felt the curved head of the dildo as it pushed deep inside until it rubbed against his prostate, and as it rubbed, his cock hardened. Haseena took his balls in her long hand and lowered her face to his crotch, taking his cock into her mouth in one long, languorous suck. Within seconds, his cock began to burn, feeling as if it was on fire. Between the fire on his cock and the terrible itching in and around his ass, Ben felt as if he was going to explode in erotic ecstasy. The longer Darya rubbed the dildo against his prostate, the harder his cock grew, and the harder Haseena sucked on his shaft, the hotter his cock burned. Darya's pussy juice on the dildo made his asshole hurt like hell, and the thick dildo stretched his ass beyond the breaking point, but the pain was so good that Ben wanted more.
He strained against the restraints, unable to set himself free. He was at their mercy and they were not going to let him go. Pleasure gave way to pain and discomfort. Every inch of his body inside and out either itched, burned or ached. He wanted to stop, but how could he? He was trapped on this bed and at their mercy. He wasn't running the show – they were. His face felt puffy, but he was unable to touch his cheeks. Eyes rheumy and swollen nearly shut, his tears had rolled down his cheeks. The room had grown dark in the force of the storm outside, which blew with the force of a gale wind. All he could think of was the terrible burning and itching in his groin and ass, how painful it felt to breathe, his swollen face and the two sexy yet disturbing women who had their way with him. The pain was exquisite madness, but he needed to get away from them. There was something inhuman about them and about how he reacted to their touch. His body felt as if metal tongs had burned into his flesh and his lungs chafed with every breath. Each breath felt as if brillo pads were scrubbing the lining of his lungs, it hurt so badly to breathe.
Without warning, Haseena moved away, and Darya climbed atop Ben, sliding his erection inside her. She was hot and ribbed inside, unlike any woman he had ever fucked. Tight and slimy, she bucked him like a horse, fucking him until he was ready to burst. Her small tits bounced in front of his face, close enough to entice but too far away to suck on. Haseena plunged the dildo deeper into his ass – as if it could go in any deeper – and Ben felt as if he was ready to explode. He was hard enough to burst, ready for his orgasm, but he could not move. When Darya lifted her head, he saw that the skin behind her ears was scabrous and queerly irregular, as if peeling from some cutaneous disease. Why had I not noticed before? Because her skin had been hidden by her hair?
Doing his best to avoid looking at her strange skin he stared at her perfect breasts, bouncing up and down as she ground against his cock. She slammed down hard against him, taking in every inch of him and all at once her entire body tightened as if on a spring, and a deep, gutteral cry rose from deep in her solar plexus to flow out her mouth. Her orgasm was intense and hard, with her body writhing against his, faster, harder and deeper, until he came in spasms against her flopping form. When she was spent, she did not lie next to him as most women did, but lifted herself off the bed and muttered something to Haseena about him "being ready." Ready for what? He had no idea what they meant. They left him on the bed, exhausted, sore, and with his skin on fire inside and out, spread-eagle with his ankles and wrists cuffed. The two women shuffled out of the bedroom and ran to the beach, making the strangest gutteral noises Ben had ever heard.
Ben's orgasm left him exhausted, but not satisfied. As his racing heart slowed to a more normal speed, he felt every itch and ache that covered his body. His tired lungs fought hard to take in air, but his windpipe had nearly closed. Spots flashed before his eyes, and the ceiling spun before him. His entire body felt as if it was on fire. The welts grew fast and hot on his groin, legs and belly. Even though he could not touch his face, he knew his tongue and throat had swelled up because they felt full and he could not close his mouth. He felt nauseous. Swallowing hard, he struggled in his restraints, but in vain, since Darya had sealed him in so tightly there was no escape.
Unearthly shrieking and catcalling from the beach caught his attention.
There are vocal qualities peculiar to men, and vocal qualities peculiar to beasts; and it is terrible to hear the one when the source should yield the other. Animal fury and orgiastic license here whipped themselves to daemoniac heights by howls and squawking ecstacies that tore and reverberated through those nighted woods like pestilential tempests from the gulfs of hell. Now and then the less organized ululation would cease, and from what seemed a well-drilled chorus of hoarse voices would rise in sing-song chant that hideous phrase or ritual: "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn."
The women danced in the sand and falling rain in a frenzy of orgiastic movement, swinging their bodies to and fro like ragdolls. Flinging themselves into the churning surf, they splashed and caroused, caressing each other and awaiting the appearance of the Old and Deep One, the one whom they served.

From the depths of Hell came the monstrosity to whom they had offered Ben and the other men who had died such horrible deaths. When Ben saw what rose from the depths of the ocean, his fevered mind could not handle the sight. A cephalopodic head with many tentacles drooped down to cover sharply taloned and clawed feet. It’s thick arms were similarly clawed. The stooped and thick body covered with ugly greenish-gray scales rose from churning waves as lightning flashed in the sky and thick fibrous wings grew out of the thing's back. Ben drew farther back in the bed, trying in vain to put distance between himself and the thing, but to no avail.

It dragged itself onto shore, making the most horrid slopping noises. Water foamed over its bulbous head and the women danced in circles around it. As it struggled to stand upright, Ben fought hard to free himself from his restraints. He pulled at them, twisted his ankles and wrists, but they would not come loose. He saw no way out. He glanced at the beach as the swollen head rose high in the sky, reaching for the clouds, the tentacles moving about like gigantic eels. An eerie high-pitched keening unlike any sound he ever heard from animal or man came from the depths of its body. It was the same sound he heard coming from deep in the brush earlier as he wandered around Jaguar Cove.

It knows I'm here and it knows I’m trapped.

Spots burst in front of his eyes and the overhead light became very bright. If he was not already prone on the bed, Ben knew he would fall over and pass out. The buzzing in his ears drowned out the sound of the falling rain and surf that crashed on the beach not far from the house. I'm going to die here, trussed up like a Thanksgiving turkey and as bloated as a burst melon…

A face appeared in his line of vision, blocking the overhead light. Oh, not again. Not more torture. What sex toy are they going to shove up my ass this time? But instead of more pain in his ass, he felt fingers slap his cheeks in a futile attempt to awaken him from his stupor.

"Senor, wake up. You have to wake up. I'm getting you out of here."

His eyes focused hard on a face, and he recognized the waitress from the Barima Restaurant and Bar. This was the young woman who had warned him to leave the country and avoid Jaguar Cove, just like every one else had warned him. He should have listened to her.

As she tugged at his wrist shackles his hands ached with pain. She unlocked the shackles with the key she found on a dresser and freed his hands. He massaged his chafed wrists while she unscrewed the spreader bar which was forcing his legs apart. Once his legs were free she tried to help him to sit upright but he was too dizzy and sick.

"In my pants pocket. Right front side. Get the Epi-pen."

She found the device and held it out to him.

"Take off the cap and jam it into my thigh. Hold it there for ten seconds."

"What is this?"

"Just do it or I'll die."

The sting didn't hurt nearly as bad as he thought it would. After ten seconds he felt a little as if his life was coming back into his body but his legs and arms were too weak to work properly. She threw one of his arms around her shoulders and guided him out of the bed. He grabbed his pants and put them on leaving his other clothing behind, and the two of them stumbled out of the house to her motorcycle waiting in the downpour in the courtyard.

"Sit behind me. I'm pretty fast on this thing so hang on."

Happy that he had enough equilibrium to keep his balance on the motorcycle, he gripped her around the waist and looked over his shoulder, hoping she would start the bike before anyone could overcome them. Keening sounds wailed from behind them and without turning he knew that the five women were loping towards him on fleshy limbs, reaching out with their spindly arms.

The waitress turned the key in the ignition and kicked the engine to life, but the motorcycle stalled trying to get in gear. She pumped the starter a few times and but once again it stalled. The writhing women were gaining on them, their shrieks sounding louder over the pouring rain. Finally, she pumped it one more time and the motorcycle roared to life. With a twist of the throttle, she shot onto the path with Ben hanging on for dear life, the fish women's hands just barely touching Ben's hair. The wailing of the Deep One rose high and shrill from the depths of the ocean, enraged that Ben got away.

Rain stung like needles as it fell on Ben's bare skin as they raced through the back roads and past the encroaching jungle. He felt his breathing return to normal as the epinephrine coursed through his body. Creeping vines with pulpy pink flowers flew by in a haze as they zipped down muddy roads. Ben's vision cleared to the point where he no longer saw spots swimming in front of his eyes. He actually felt his face and neck deflate to a somewhat normal size and such a feeling was something he was not eager to repeat any time soon. By the time they reached the emergency room fifteen minutes later, he felt quite good, although exhausted, sore, and cold from the chilly rain. It wasn't every day that a completely naked man was delivered to the emergency room on the back of a motorcycle in a pouring rainstorm. He gathered quite the audience full of stares and embarrassed smiles.

Ben recuperated after a hospital stay of several days. He never saw Darya, Haseena, or any of the women ever again. Would he ever return to Jaguar Cove? Never. He wasn't crazy. He liked his life a little too much to take that chance. But, late at night when he sleeps, Darya creeps into his deepest dreams, crawling  into his bed, holding her naked body next to his, raising a rash on his skin, her tingling tongue deep inside his mouth, taking his breath away one more time.

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