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Nicole frees herself of an
abusive relationship and makes a fresh start in Chicago. Her new roommate Monica
makes her feel at home right away, and Nicole is excited about starting her
career as a paralegal. She meets the handsome defense lawyer Michael Lyons,
whom she will be working with. Their attraction is immediate and intense, and
she finds herself falling in love with her new boss.
Just as it seems Nicole’s life is
finally going right, a series of brutal murders plague the Chicago area. As the
number of these murders escalates all the evidence begins to point to Nicole’s
new friend Adam Matthews or her lover Michael Lyons. She refuses to believe
that either could possibly be capable of committing these brutal murders. Yet, by closing
her eyes to this possibility, Nicole could be making a deadly mistake.
Songs I listened to while writing "Guilty Pleasure"
Guilty Pleasure- Gone For Days Oh Death- Noah Gunderson Demons- Tech n9ne Drown- Theory of a Deadman The Unforgiven- Inertia Scream- Avenged Sevenfold Evil Angel- Breaking Benjamin Why- Burning Retina The Kill- Combiechrist Circle the Fringe- The Gutter Twins Counting Bodies Like Sheep- A Perfect Circle White Doves- Cider Sky Prove You Wrong- Crossfade Killing Strangers- Marilyn Manson Somebody to Die For- Hurts Snap- Grave Plott Our Demons (Pair of Arrows Remix)- Glitch Mob
gripped the steering wheel a little tighter when she saw the lights of the
illuminated Chicago skyline against the dark sky. A metaphor for her life. It
had taken five years to free herself from Nathan. This move was her new beginning,
her hope that things were going to get better.
heard the soft male voice of her GPS guiding her to her new apartment. She
rented this apartment sight unseen. Hell, she didn’t even know too much about
her roommate. All she really knew was Monica was close to her age and needed
someone to split the rent. Yet, the rent was reasonable and she could afford it
on her new salary so she jumped at it.
tightened her grip a little more. Her nerves were kicking in. She accepted the
job offer from the Lyons and Smith Criminal Law LLP. This would be her first
fulltime job as a paralegal. She chose the criminal field because this area of
the law fascinated her, and if she was going to be stuck doing a ton of
research for the lawyers of the firm she might as well enjoy it.
the generic male voice of the GPS counted the yards she had left before she
reached her destination her nerves grew worse. What if she made a huge mistake
choosing Chicago to start over? What if she picked the wrong Law firm to work?
What if her boss was a major asshole?What if her roommate was hard to live with? She shook the doubt out of
her mind. This was the right thing to do. She had to put distance between her
and Columbus Ohio and Nathan.
pulled into the parking garage of the apartment building. She found the space
Monica had said was for their apartment. She parked next to the bright blue
Smart car. She couldn’t help but to smile. This little car had to be Monica’s.
The interior had flowered car seat covers and a steering wheel cover that
matched. Several little trinkets hung off the rearview mirror. The car was just
cheerful, God she hoped that Monica was too.
grabbed her two suitcases out of the trunk of her car. She hit the button on
her key and heard the weak horn of her car letting her know her doors were
locked. She looked over at the two large suitcases sitting there next to her
grey Honda Civic. This was all she had left in the world, Nathan took
everything else. She pulled the handles up of the two suitcases and started
wheeling them to the elevator. It was awkward but she managed to get inside the
elevator. She hit the button for floor twelve. She took a deep breath and
slowly blew out as the doors to the elevator closed.
it didn’t take long to get to the twelfth floor. She got off the elevator and
headed to her left. She looked at the door numbers as she passed. She stopped
in front of the door with the large brass number five hanging in the upper
middle of the door. She let the handles of her suitcases go and dug in her
purse for the key Monica sent her. She didn’t know if she could have just given
a complete stranger her apartment key if the roles were reverse, but she didn’t
have time to ponder this right now. Before she could find her keys the door
my God, you are so freaking cute.” The petite woman with short auburn hair said
as she flung her arms around Nicole and gave her a big hug. “It is so nice to
finally meet you, oh I’m Monica by the way. I’m sure you pretty much figured
that out. Come on get inside and I will give you the grand tour.”
smiled as Monica grabbed one of her suitcases and excitedly went inside the
apartment. Nicole grabbed the other and followed her. She couldn’t focus on
what Monica was saying. She was looking around the small apartment that was
going to be home for her now.
know it isn’t anything fancy, but I love it. The building is secure. We have a
space to park our cars, but to tell you the truth I usually take the bus or the
train. It’s just easier than trying to find a parking space. Plus, I tend to
let my car insurance lap from time to time.This is your room.” Monica opened the door and walked inside the small
bedroom. “If you don’t like the furniture you can always get something
different. My last roommate left this stuff here.”
is perfect, thank you.” Nicole sat on the bed.
plunk down beside her on the bed. “Let me tell you a bit about myself. I’m
trying to become the world’s most brilliant pastry chef, but until that happens
I’m working at the bakery down the street while I take culinary classes. I
don’t have a boyfriend at the moment, not really looking for one. I would love
if you and I could become friends, but if you just want to keep it at roomies
then I will respect that. Let’s see what else…I have a shoe fetish, which is
why my car insurance sometimes lapses. But don’t worry, I always have my share
of the rent on time. Tell me about you.”
there isn’t really much to tell. I just graduated from the University of Ohio.
I got an amazing job offer here to be a paralegal to a pretty successful law
firm, so here I am.”
didn’t want to work for some lawyer in Columbus? Don’t you have family there?”
mother lives in Toledo and she is my only family member left. There is nothing
say anymore.I think I get it. You wanted
a fresh start. I won’t pry any more. I have always lived here in Chicago. I
love this town. So you picked a great city to start over. I will leave you
alone to get settled. I would love to take you to my favorite bar tonight if
you are up for it. You know, show you around a little.”
would like that.”
Monica got up and left the room.
unpacked her clothes, set her laptop, iPod and Kindle up on top of the dresser.
She was happy that she had her own bathroom. It was small, but it was all hers.
She placed her beauty products in the medicine cabinet and her hairdryer and
flatiron in the cabinet below the sink. She looked at her reflection in the
“You should be lucky I think you
are cute, my friends think I could do much better. You should really think
about joining a gym. It couldn’t hurt.” Nathan’s
hurtful words filled her mind. How did she ever think she was in love with such
a horrible man? He made her feel so worthless. Her mother made her feel the
same way. Perhaps that was how he found her. She was used to being treated like
crap so him showing even an ounce of kindness when they first met was what
reeled her in. She quickly looked away from the mirror. Damn that man, even
with three hundred and fifty miles between them the mental pain he inflicted
was still so keenly felt.
heard a soft knock on her bedroom door. She walked over and opened it.
on, let’s head out. I’m starving and the Tears
and Beers Bar has excellent burgers.”
isn’t it. It’s dark, yet the ambiance is quite charming. Plus the live bands
they have there are really good.”
I look okay?”
are as cute as a button. You are dressed perfectly.”
just smiled and let Monica lead the way.
bar wasn’t that far from their apartment building, so they just walked. Nicole
enjoyed the hustle and bustle of everything. They went inside the bar and
Monica was right it was quite dark inside. The hum of the voices, clink of the
dishes, and the steady sound of laughter filled the air. She looked at the band
goody, Life Rusts are playing
tonight. They are really good,” Monica said as she led Nicole to a small table
off to the side. They both sat down. Nicole let Monica order for her.
you mentioned you are going to work for Lyons and Smith Criminal Law firm,
which one are you working for?” Monica asked.
you seen him yet?”
was just curious. Adam, the lead singer of Life Rusts…” she gestured to the
very attractive man with wavy dark hair, gorgeous body and stunning blue eyes.
“…well I was talking to him one day a year or so ago and it seems your new
employers are big in supporting the arts. Mr. Lyons in particular. Thanks to
him Adam can focus on his music instead of scrambling to come up with rent
money every month.”
told you this.”
is an open book and such a sweetheart. Girl, look at him, damn…I would love to
fuck that guy. But, he is too cool to talk to and once you start fucking a guy
things get weird.”
just pay his rent for him?”
pretty cool huh.”
is lucky. You shouldn’t never look a gift horse in the mouth. That is what Adam
told me.” Monica smiled and waved at Adam. He smiled and waved back. “Do you
want me to introduce you to him?”
no, I’m not interested in pursuing any kind of relationship with anyone for
quite some time,” Nicole said with more passion than she intended.
someone burnt you. I won’t pry, but if you want to talk about it I’m a hell of
a good listener.”
had to admit the burgers were pretty tasty. She enjoyed Monica prattling on and
soaked everything up. Monica seemed to know everything about this corner of
Chicago. Life Rusts began to play.
Their music was a cross between rock and blues. Adam’s voice was silky and he
had all the females transfixed.
came over to the table when he finished his set.
are you doing, Monica?” Adam said as he sat down and gestured for the bartender
to bring him a beer. “Who is this cutie?” he smiled a most charming smile.
smiled shyly back.
is my new roomie Nicole. She will be working for Mr. Lyons. I know you know who
is a cool guy. You will love working for him, Nicole. He comes here from time
to time to listen to my band. What he has done for me I can’t even begin to
repay him. Where you from, Nicole?”
played a gig or two there.”
don’t you come back to the apartment with us and you can help fill Nicole in on
everything?” Monica asked.
would love to, but we are heading out when we finish our last set. I got a gig
in Detroit then Cleveland, but I would love to talk with you some more when I
get back, Nicole.”
ladies,” Adam said as he grabbed his beer and headed over to his bandmates.
I told you he was a sweetheart. I bet you are tired. You want to go home now?”
I have to get some rest before I go to work tomorrow.”
paid for the burgers and they headed back to the apartment.
you for being so nice,” Nicole said when they went into the apartment.
problem, besides this is our home. We should make it pleasant for each other.”
agree. I better try and get some sleep. Good night, Monica.”
went into her room. She took a shower and got ready for bed. As she set her
alarm her nerves started to build. Tomorrow was her first day at work, the
first big step in her career. God, she hoped she didn’t fuck it up. Thanks to
her mother then Nathan, her confidence was quite low. Her grades in college
were very good, she graduated near the top of her class. Yet, that ever presence
nagging doubt in herself was always there.