Kiss the Stars

By: Alice Bell

Devon Slaughter Book 1

Part 1

THE NEARNESS of death didn’t feel like I thought it would. It wasn’t heavy and cold. It was like butterflies in your stomach, like looking down from somewhere high, like driving too fast, like kissing.

1. Devon

THE ANNOYING squeak of a wheel, somewhere in the distance, caught my attention. Honing in, I picked up the sound of breath. Excited, female.

I was on the edge of town, walking under the full moon, hands shoved into the pockets of my jeans. I passed a lone car with a rear flat parked under a burned out street lamp. The car was a real beast from the last century, a pink Cadillac de Ville with jutting fins, whitewall tires and a certain monstrous gleam.

When I rounded the corner, I found her.

She wore a short pink dress and fishnet stockings. Platform shoes added about six inches to her height. Her legs were slender. She pulled a pink suitcase over the cracked sidewalk. Wow, you don’t see that every day. Her hair was bright and high, piled up and ratted into a fuchsia cloud. She hurried. Her shadow, cast by the moon, evoked the Bride of Frankenstein.

I slid behind a tree, in order to watch her and maybe track her. She whirled around, her eyes probing the length of the block. “Who’s there?” she called. I was nothing more than a sudden breeze. And yet, her gaze landed on me, as if I’d been clumsy. She came straight toward me, the wheels of her suitcase whirring. “What are you doing?” her voice stretched thin.

She wore too much paint. Bright red lips, black smudged around her eyes.

“Just headed home,” I said.

She backed away.


Her already wide eyes grew wider. Any second now, she would notice I was sexy. “You shouldn’t be out here this time of night,” I said. “Are you scared?”

She emitted a scornful pssht and seemed about to say something but checked her watch, instead. It was a slender gold bracelet. She grasped the handle of her suitcase. Her nails were painted blue. They were very short. “I have to go,” she acted like I was holding her up.

She walked away, pulling her suitcase. The squeaky wheel complained.

“Bye,” I whispered, when she stopped at the corner.

She crossed the street, in a hurry again, but trying to appear otherwise. I realized it was her pink Cadillac and she’d been too afraid to ask for help. Women were never afraid of me. I was built to rip bodices.

Questions about her came one after another. Why was she dressed like a clown in a skirt? What was in the suitcase? Couldn’t she just call Triple A? A cab?

“Hey, wait up,” I went after her. “I can change a flat,” I said, when she turned to me.

Behind her, a porch light went out. It must be around midnight, I thought. As if reading my mind, she checked her watch again.

“It’s your car parked back there, isn’t it?” I ran my gaze over her. “Just a wild guess.”

“You look like someone,” she said, as if we were having separate conversations. Her hand flexed on the handle of her suitcase. “Heathcliff. From Wuthering Heights?”

That’s right, I’m sexy.

“It’s a book,” she said.

I knew the story. There were a lot of things I remembered about books and culture. My own personal memories were more elusive, like shadows.

“About star-crossed love,” she said.

“It’s about revenge,” I said.

She didn’t like that. Her lips pouted. Beneath the goop on her face, she was pretty. “It can be whatever I want it to be about,” she said.

I shrugged.

She studied me. “It’s so weird…”

You’re weird.

“I love Heathcliff’s dark passion,” she said.

“He was an asshole.”

She sucked in her breath. “You look exactly how I always pictured him. In my mind.”

Was that what scared her? She had seen me before in her mind?

“I don’t understand,” her voice trembled. “How you can exist.”

Amen, Sister.

I told her my name, assuming she would tell me hers. She didn’t. As we walked back to her car, I offered to carry her suitcase. “Oh, no, it’s very ergonomically designed,” she said, like that explained everything.

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