He closed his eyes and inhaled deeply. No, he smelled cleaning supplies and synthetic lemons. She cleaned. Everything including the floor beamed. Gone were his air fresheners, dirty towels, garbage and that disgusting odor. Now it was clean and organized. The shelves were filled with large fluffy towels. The shower was sparkling and held his shampoo and soap as well as her bathing products. He turned his attention to the medicine cabinet.

She took it upon herself to designate sides, made sense. His side held his razor, shaving gel and cologne. That little collection took up half of a shelf, leaving the other two shelves empty. Curious, he opened her side of the medicine cabinet. It was well stocked with cleaners, soaps, lotions, over the counter medicines, tweezers, ear swabs, nail polish remover and a pink razor. Pink. What difference did it make if it was pink? The other stuff was just as confusing. Why did she need the rest of it? Was she building something out of all that shit?

He closed the cabinet and opened the first drawer under the sink. Extra toilet paper. Okay, she would need that. He didn’t, but she would. That was reasonable. He closed that drawer and opened the bottom one and froze.

“Oh…..fuck me….” His hands shook as he reached down and picked up the pink box, menstrual pads. “Fuck.”

He should have anticipated this when Mrs. Buckman told him that a young woman was moving in. He forgot about women’s courses. He stood up and studied the box. It was a mixed box whatever that meant. He looked it over only to discover it was super and regular. He had no clue what that meant, but it couldn’t be good where he was concerned.

His eyes closed and he prayed for control. The woman, no, the human whose blood attracted him like no other would be bleeding once a month next to his room and discarding blood soaked cotton in the trash can. This was hell. Pure hell. It would take every bit of control not to suck on those discarded pads. Even to him that sounded disgusting.

“Fuck.” There was nothing else to say. He dropped the box back in the drawer and kicked it shut. He braced his hands on the counter and looked in the mirror. His eyes were a fiery red. His teeth were lowered and he was drooling. Great. His only hope was to stay the hell away from this Madison person and pray she moved out before her courses came.

Chapter 3

Madison was ripped from her pleasant dream of warmth by rap music. “What the hell?” She forced her eyes to focus on the alarm clock by her bed. It was three in the morning. Who the hell was playing rap music at three in the morning?

She pulled her knit hat down on her head and jumped out of bed and immediately began shivering. Her baggy sweatshirt and tee shirt weren’t doing the job. The sweatpants might as well be made of paper for all the warmth it provided. The only thing that seemed to keep her warm was the thick socks. She wrapped her arms around her stomach and looked around. That horrible music was coming from her room, but where? It was loud and annoying.

Why was it coming from her room? She stumbled over her unpacked boxes.


The bathroom door flew open, banging loudly against the wall. Madison was so surprised that she stumbled back and fell over a box. She quickly scrambled to her feet just as the light was turned on.

There in the doorway of the bathroom stood a very pissed off Ephraim. His eyes narrowed on hers before moving down to take in her outfit. He seemed pleased by something and then walked into her room, wearing nothing but a pair of boxer briefs. No hello or what is that? He walked in like he owned the place. The music stopped suddenly.

“Good,” she sighed with relief.

He shot her an irritated look.

“I’m sorry if that woke you. I have no idea what that was.” The words rushed out of her mouth. This man intimidated her. He was big, very muscular from what she could see now and handsome, too handsome. She never dealt well with handsome men. She preferred to deal with average looking men. It made her feel safe. This man made her feel anything but safe.

She didn’t care if he was a cop. He was dangerous. She felt it. Everything in her body screamed for her to be careful. Of course her mother was going to set her sights on him. She loved dangerous men. Her sister was already making plans. She walked in on her sister and mother talking about birth control. It seems her sister didn’t like the feel of condoms.

That was a nice way to twist her heart and shatter it. Her sister somehow in the last week managed to lose her virginity and her mother knew about it. Candy smiled sweetly up at Madison and winked. This was just a game to her. Madison had been too upset to talk to Jill at that moment. She walked out of the room and made her way back to hers where she cried for a good hour. Then she forced herself to focus on the task at hand, she was starting a new job tomorrow.

Using the text book and notes the school sent over she spent the next five hours creating a lesson plan. Finally, she finished plans for the next two months and had the following week’s lectures created. Then she took a shower, a long hot shower. She heard Ephraim pace his room the entire time muttering something.

The rap music started again. Ephraim threw her another irritated look. She looked even more unattractive with that ridiculous knit hat pulled all the way to her eyebrows and down around her ears, ending around her cheeks. Her skin was tan and clean, but that’s all he saw. Her scent hit him hard. He needed to shut off that annoying music and get the hell out of her room.


He focused on the sound and ignored her overwhelming scent. The damn music was coming from a box buried in the back. He moved quickly towards it, throwing boxes and bags roughly out of his way.


He ignored her. He found a box with a large pink heart drawn on it. He ripped it open and found the offending object on top, a cell phone. “A ‘Carl’ is calling for you,” he said evenly.

For the moment she forgot that she was mad at him for throwing her things around and took the phone. “This isn’t my phone.”

“Don’t care. Tell Carl to f**k off or I will,” he snapped.

She seemed not to hear him or care what he said. “He’s a friend of Candy's.” Friend was putting it mildly. He was one of the guys her mother managed to screw in the short two weeks since she was home. He was in New Mexico and it was one in the morning there. More importantly it was Jill’s phone and Carl was thirty-five years old.

When Madison opened the phone her finger accidentally hit the speaker button. “About time you answered, baby.”

“Carl?” Madison answered, confused. “Why are you calling this phone?”

“Stop f**king around, baby. I’m horny. Come on over, I could go for one of your special blowjobs.”

Every muscle in Ephraim’s body froze. This woman was a virgin, he was sure of it. Some other unknown emotion ripped through him as well. It was weird. He wanted to reach through the phone and rip this guy’s head off. It unnerved him.

Madison’s jaw clenched. Was she embarrassed? “Carl, why are you calling this phone?”

“Jill baby, don’t f**k around. I’m coming to pick you up. Sneak out your window and meet me by the tree same as last week.”

She took a deep breath and spoke evenly. “Carl, listen to me very carefully and don’t hang up before I’m done or I will have the police at your door in fifteen minutes.”
“Oh shit…..Madison?”