Author Krystina Stevens

Excerpt from Red Letters: Tania’s first gift, and a thrilling promise

I had just settled down in front of the television, sock feet up on the coffee table, wine in hand, overstuffed pillow tucked under my arm, when I thought I heard a brief knock at the side door. That wouldn’t make any sense; all of my product and supply deliveries came from UPS and they always came to the front door. The side door led into the garden area of our yard and out to the side road, our house being on a corner, but didn’t even have our house number marked there. Only friends and family ever used that door, or Martin when he needed to work in the yard.

I turned and looked back at the kitchen, but from where I sat I couldn’t see the door. I frowned, waiting to hear a second knock, or anything that would let me know what I heard was a knock at all, but nothing. The after a few seconds I heard a car door close, then the faint sound of a small car engine rev up as it pulled away.

white-wine-glass-sexyWhat the hell?

I set the wine glass down and stood up, dropping the pillow onto the couch. I walked into the kitchen and to the side door. It was a solid wood door, unlike our front glass door, so I couldn’t see out. I edged to the side window and peered out, but the walkway into the garden and out to the street was empty. The street as well.

Jesus, Tania. Nervous, jumpy, scared, worried. I was an emotional wreck.

This was stupid. I reached down and unlocked the deadbolt and grabbed the doorknob. I twisted it and yanked tore door open, as if the harder I pulled, the quicker I moved, the less dangerous the monster on the other side would be.

There was no monster. At my feet, sitting on the bristle welcome mat, was a small brown paper wrapped box. It was unlabeled, unmarked, and completely unremarkable in every way. Except that it was there, and I wasn’t expecting an unmarked box.

I looked out to the street, but as with my gaze out of the window, it was empty. I leaned out past the doorframe to look towards the front of the house, but still saw no one. The neighborhood was quiet, as it usually was.

I looked back down at the box. It was far smaller than any of my usual shipments came in. But I knew this wasn’t a shipment. I bent over and picked it up. It didn’t bite. It also didn’t weigh much more than an empty box of its size would. I held it up to my ear and shook it, and some bizarre memory of Christmas morning as a child flashed across my mind.

With one last look out to the street I stepped back inside and closed the door, then carried the box over to the couch and sat down. I placed it on the coffee table next to the wine glass, then picked the glass up and took a sip, staring at the box. It had to be related. But…

I kept thinking of the red letters, how beautiful they were, how elegant, and how bold the color was. Almost like the color itself was a message in and of itself. Something was nagging at me, that this box was somehow part of what was happening to me, but different.

I took another sip and set the glass down, picking the box up and leaning back in the couch. I rolled the paper wrapped package over in my hands. It was so light it could have been empty, so quiet inside it must have been empty. I set it on my lap and examined it.

The paper was carefully folded on the bottom and sealed with clear tape. I idly picked at the edge of the tape strip, then pulled it slowly the length of the package. It came off cleanly, not pulling any of the paper with it. Whoever had put the package together used high quality materials and had taken their time with it. This was certainly no mass-market package.

I pulled back the folded edge of the paper and saw a flash of red, and my heart skipped. I unfolded the other corners and spread them out, exposing a red box with satin finish. The color was identical to the letters. I ran a finger across the top of the box. It was smooth with just a hint of texture, just enough to indicate that I was touching something. But the feeling inside me was far stronger than that.

I put a hand on either side of the box and lifted the lid. It slid off with a slight hiss and I set it on the couch next to me. Inside was thin red paper, like one would find in a gift bag. I took a deep breath and lifted the crinkly paper.

Underneath was a folded piece of white material. My heart pounding, I reached in and lifted it out with both hands. I held it up in front of me, the light from my front window giving it an almost shimmer.

white-lace-thongIt was a white thong, made of extraordinarily fine silk. I sucked in another breath and felt my heart racing. I brought it closer to my face and inhaled. The same sweet musky scent. I closed my eyes and imagined wearing the thong, with the same scent, mixing with my own. I felt myself getting moist, and I rubbed the silk on one cheek.

I opened my eyes and caught sight of something else in the box. Still holding the thong in one hand, I reached in with the other and took out another red envelope. This one bore no name or wax seal.

I laid the thong back in the box and opened the envelope. Inside was a folded red paper, exactly as I expected. I withdrew it and unfolded it. The same silver ink, but this time only one word was written. But the one word gave my heart a flutter it hadn’t experienced before, one of anticipation, of excitement, of pure energy.

“Monday.”

—–

What does ‘Monday’ mean? Where doe Tania’s life turn next?

Red Letters is available for all e-readers and paperback! Use this link for the Bookstore, or click here to see what others are saying about it!

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