I’ll let you in on a little secret, I LOVE writing the villain almost more than any other character. Mustache-twirlers need not apply. I like my heroes interesting, layered, maybe even a little sympathetic. I want their motives to match their actions. I like them passionate and full personality.
This is a snippet from Witch Fury with one of my favorite villains, Stefan Faucheux. Enjoy!
As she drove, a swell of memory assaulted her. Images her brain were able to suppress in Chicago reared their nasty heads here, so near her childhood home. In her mind a memory of her mother flickered. The middle-aged redhead stood on the lawn of their home brandishing a grilling fork, insane words pouring from her lips. Flames licked and the scent of burning…
Sarafina lunged for the radio and found a good station that played loud, hard rock music. She opened the window of her car and threw herself into the song, singing the lyrics out loud. She wouldn’t allow her mind to go back there, she just couldn’t.
Instead, she thought of Grosset, her Pomeranian. She’d left him with her neighbor for the trip south and couldn’t wait to see him again. Sarafina smiled. See? Life wasn’t so bad. She had friends, a job, and, most importantly, she had the love of a good dog.
Then there was that guy who kept asking her for a date. His name was Brian. No… Bradley. Cute, too. He was a UPS guy, came into the office every afternoon and sought her out specifically to sign for the deliveries. What was it about UPS guys? He flirted with her every day, cajoling her to go to dinner with him. It was flattering. She’d been turning him down because of Alex, but now she was free. Maybe the next time he asked, she’d say yes.
She rolled into the northern Chicago suburb in the early evening and parked in front of the beautiful eighteenth century home where her apartment was located. It was only a few blocks from her office downtown, though she always took the EL in to avoid parking problems.
Stopping the car at the curb, she turned off the engine and stared up at the beautiful, huge windows. Sarafina loved this place. The neighborhood was quiet and older, the street lined with stately old trees. Hopefully her landlord would give her an extension on the rent. Most likely he would. After all, this would be the first time she’d ever been late.
She knocked on her downstairs neighbor’s door and Alexis, a college girl, answered. “Grosset? Oh, he’s already at your place. Your boyfriend came and picked him up. He’s cute!” she squealed, then said, “Your boyfriend, I mean. Grosset’s cute too, though. Ta!” and closed the door in Sarafina’s face.
Boyfriend? God, she hoped Alex wasn’t having second thoughts. She stared at the closed door for a moment, anxiety making her stomach muscles tighten. Then she stalked up the stairs to her apartment, her mind whirling about she would say to him. Now that he was gone, she wanted him to stay that way.
Her apartment door squeaked open and she started down the hallway, hearing someone cough in the living room. “Alex, listen—“
She stopped short and her keys clattered to the floor. Shock held her immobile as she stared at Stefan Faucheux standing in her living room…holding her dog. Her mind stuttered.
Everyone knew who he was. The rich playboy and CEO of Duskoff International had been the media’s darling for a long time. He was everything they loved–handsome, interesting, intelligent and monied. Then one day he’d disappeared. For a year the world had wondered where he’d gone. Foul play had been suspected and investigations undergone. All the entertainment shows had been atwitter with the mystery.
Then suddenly six months ago he’d simply popped back into existence, taking up where he’d left off as if he’d never been gone. He’d been traveling, he’d explained. Mostly he been in Costa Rica surfing. No one had been able to find him because he hadn’t wanted to be found. If you had enough money, Sarafina guessed you could do that, just disappear without a trace. Personally, she wouldn’t know.
Most people thought it had simply been a publicity stunt. Maybe they were right. Stefan seemed to like attention.
Right now he really wanted hers.
The bigger question was why? Why was he standing in her living room?
“Wha–” she started and then snapped her mouth closed as Bradley stepped out from her small hallway and stood next to Stefan.
What the hell was the UPS guy and Stefan Faucheux doing in her apartment?
Stefan inclined his head. “Sarafina Connell, it’s a pleasure. I think you’ve already met my associate.” He took a step toward her while Grosset panted and smiled a happy doggie smile at her. “We tried this easy way, but you were more resistant than most to Bradley’s charms. Women normally just swoon right at his feet, boyfriend or not, making our job so much easier.”
“What’s going on? What are you–“
“Since Bradley couldn’t get you alone, I’m afraid we’ll have to do it the less pleasant way. Trust me, we’re doing you a favor.” He clucked. “Data entry, Sarafina? You’re wasting yourself. We’ll make the most of your skills where we’re taking you. I just wish your initiation could have been nicer.”
That was a threat. Stefan Faucheux had just threatened her in her own living room, and he was holding her dog!
Sarafina opened her mouth to scream and someone grabbed her from behind, a big meaty hand clamping down hard over her lips. A needle bit deep into her hip and a thick drowsiness almost immediately closed over her. Her knees buckled and someone lifted her. Her head lolled to the side, unconsciousness closing over her in a slow wave.
Stefan tilted his head to the side and petted Grosset’s silky head, while the Pomeranian panted happily. “Now we have you and your little dog too.”
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