EXCERPT: Tribulation (Cops Planet #1)

White, rangy Casie, in her thirties, looked extremely seductive in a beautiful blue cross maxi dress with floral prints. It matched her high heels, as well as her bracelets, necklace, earrings, and lipstick. She sat at the dining table near the kitchen door, putting her cell phone down in front of her. Casie stroked her hair as her beautiful, downturned eyes scanned the kitchen and the living room, finding someone. Then she settled herself comfortably into the chair as the servant came up next to her, holding a bowl of her breakfast.

“Enjoy your breakfast, ma’am!” said the servant in a croaky voice, putting the bowl of shrimp on the table with his trembling hands, lacking strength in his middle age.

“Shrimp!” said Casie through gritted teeth, clenching her hands and staring at the bowl. “Who eats shrimp for breakfast?” Her voice remained full of anger.

The servant’s slender body quivered from top to bottom. “I—I’m sorry for my mistake, ma’am,” he said in defense, “but today’s Monday.”

“So what?” said Casie in a slightly amplified tone.

“Every Monday, you like to have something different, ma’am,” said the servant. “So, I thought, shrimp will be good for you.”

Casie stood up, pushing her chair backward. Baring her fury, she stared at the servant, who didn’t dare to look directly back into her eyes.

“I’m sorry, ma’am,” said the servant. “It won’t happen again,” he added, as Casie took the bowl from his hands and put it on the table.

“Seems like you want to impress me?” said Casie, gently putting her hands on his shoulders. The servant slightly trembled, his weight shifting, trying to move away from her.

“I can’t even imagine—”

Casie lifted a finger, silently, instructing him to stop reacting and place his full attention on her.

“I know you like me. Look up. Look into my eyes.”

“N-no,” mumbled the servant, sensing something dangerous coming from Casie, his eyes almost wet.

“My hubby-bubby is not at home. I’m all yours. And I like you, too,” said Casie. “Let’s have some fun.” With a sweep of her smooth hands, she knocked everything from the dining table to the floor.

Then she grabbed the servant and pushed him onto the dining table. She was enraged at not having her breakfast on time, and at what he had brought her. The servant struggled to free himself from Casie’s punishment, but she was stronger—she threw his legs up onto the table, tightening her grip around his neck.

Casie sat on his thighs, forcefully pulling off the servant’s t-shirt and pants. Then, nearing her mouth to his, she said, “Impress me! I have given you a chance.” She scratched his chest with her sharp fingernails, and said again, “Impress me!”

“Let me go, ma’am,” begged the servant. “I assure you, it won’t happen again.” He was beginning to cry.

“I’m hungry. I want something to eat,” she blazed. “Why not you?” She flared her nostrils.

She bit him on the neck so severely that the servant screamed louder than a siren.

“I’m sorry, ma’am,” sobbed the servant. “I w-will pre-prepare a new breakfast. Ju-just a few minutes,” jumbled the servant.

“Next time,” said Casie, her teeth gritted once again, “don’t assume. Ask before you do it.” She jumped down from the dining table. The servant remained lying there, crying in humiliation.

“What’re you waiting for?” yelled Casie. “I need breakfast.”

The servant swiftly wiped the tears from his face, his expression showing fear and nausea—the fear of losing his life at any moment upon one more mistake. He jumped down from the dining table, quickly gathered his clothes with trembling hands, and rushed to the kitchen, hugging the bundle to his chest.

Casie dragged her chair back to the table and sat. Her cell phone rang.

Alex. She read her husband’s name on the screen, then picked up the phone, cooling her brain, inhaling and exhaling twice before answering.

“Where are you?” she asked. She could hear the excitement in her own voice, the eagerness to meet up with him. She was expecting to hear something good in his silvery voice, something to satisfy her ears. But there weren’t her husband’s warm words on the other end. The voice that greeted her was cold and flat.

“Your husband’s dead in your old mansion, outside Villa Village.”

Casie couldn’t believe her ears. “Pardon me. What did you say?”

“Your husband’s dead, at Fuentes Mansion.”

A click sounded as the stranger hung up.

Casie’s mouth remained open as she went blank, not registering the present. The total blankness allowed a memory t