Names Don’t Matter Anyway!
Light faded from the priest’s eyes as he watched the blood flow from
his wrist and stain the white sheets. He wondered what people would
think. Perhaps it was better this way.
The man leaned back and double-checked his handiwork. He marveled that
changing one letter changed everything. He had lived on earth for many
years. He had engaged in several vocations and had gone by many
different names. His most recent name had been taken to get the
attention of the woman who was now his wife. They had been married
twenty-five years and had ten children. Ten children that filled their
hearts and home with love and laughter. He had explained to his wife the
necessity of changing their last name. They had both agreed on the new
name, Wills. He had just changed everything they owned or were
associated with to Wills, even the last name of their children. As far
as the world was concerned, their name had always been Wills.
The woman sat alone at the bar. Joe, the lounge’s owner, watched her
from his vantage point at the end of the bar. How does a man get a woman
like that? He thought for the thousandth time since his first encounter
She wasn’t from the city. He could tell by the way she always
stiffened and raised her chin when some man tried to engage her in
conversation. She always politely informed them she was waiting for her
husband. Although she did wear a wedding ring, Joe had never seen a
She only frequented his establishment three or four times a year. More
than likely, she was in town on business. He recalled the first time she
had walked into his place.
She stepped through the door, stopped and surveyed the establishment,
deciding if the lounge was suitable for her. Joe had found himself
relieved when she decided it was and took a seat at the bar. His
establishment was an upscale lounge in an elite part of town. He was
accustomed to seeing wealthy, well-dressed customers, but she was a real
Her designer clothes, purse, and shoes told him she was wealthy and had
impeccable taste. They didn’t tell him how she made her living.
She was devastatingly beautiful. Her long black hair rested lightly on
her shoulders, framing the most perfect face he had ever seen. Her full
lips seemed to be perpetually suspended in a fascinating look that could
quickly turn into the most glorious smile he had ever witnessed or the
darkest scowl one could imagine. He always found himself striving to
elicit the smile. He was certain her smile rivaled the opening of the
gates of heaven.
He would do anything to see that smile. A small scar started just above
her upper lip and disappeared into the soft redness of it. It made her
beauty even more unique. He kept her special brand of wine in his
cellar. It was very expensive. He remembered the first time she had
requested it. No one had ever requested wine that expensive. He told her
he didn’t carry that particular label. The disappointment that flashed
across her lovely face made him want to cry.
The next day when she came in, he slowly slid the glass containing her
preferred wine across the counter to her. He watched her grimace;
slightly crinkling her nose, as she graciously accepted the drink she
knew was not what she wanted. He kept his eyes on her gorgeous face as
she sipped the wine. The delighted, almost gleeful, expression that
accompanied her glorious smile, made him stop breathing. Her dark brown
eyes danced. Her smile revealed dazzling white teeth. She closed her
mouth and slid her pink tongue across her red lips, savoring the taste
of the wine. He had never enjoyed pleasing anyone so much in his life.
She is the kind of woman for which a man would die… or kill, he had
He recalled when the blonde man, almost as beautiful as she first
entered his lounge and took a seat in one of the booths hidden in the
shadows. The man watched the woman. Never taking his eyes from her, even
when he ordered his drink
Joe served the man then refilled her glass. Everything in him wanted to
tell her it was on the house, but the price of one bottle of the wine
would wipe out his profit for the week.
She rewarded him with another breathtaking smile. After half an
hour—probably building his courage—the blonde man casually walked to
the bar and sat down beside her. She didn’t even acknowledge his
“Come here often,” the man, asked.
“First time,” she said softly.
“There is a first time for everything,” he smiled. In its own way,
his smile lit up the room as brightly as hers had.
The man leaned toward her, trying to strike up a conversation. “I can
read minds, you know.”
“Hum,” she raised a skeptical eyebrow. “Tell me what that man over
there is thinking.” She nodded toward an Ivy League banker type then
looked at the man sitting next to her for the first time. Her eyes
widened as she appraised her new companion. Obviously, she liked what
she was seeing.
“He is thinking that, if I leave he will make a move on you.” The
blonde man smiled. “He is thinking that he would give anything to have
a woman like you.”
“I doubt that,” she smiled back, amused by his prediction.
“I can prove it,” he grinned, “but let’s make this interesting.
A bet: if I am right, you will buy dinner.”
“And if you are wrong,” she tilted her head slightly, looking up at
“I buy you dinner,” he chuckled. “Actually, I win either way.”
“Dinner is all you want from me,” she asked, hesitantly.
“For now,” the man nodded, as he moved from the bar stool to return
to his table in the shadows.
As soon as he had vacated the seat next to her, Ivy League slid onto the
“Hi,” Ivy League put out his hand. “My name is Randall Crawford. I
have been admiring you all evening.”
“I am waiting for my husband.” She didn’t even glance at him, just
stared straight ahead, sipping her wine. “Please be so kind as to
leave before he arrives.”
Randall quickly returned to the table he shared with his friends.
“Whoa, she shot you down before you even went for your gun,” his
friends teased him.
Randal smiled good-naturedly and took his seat. The icy coldness of the
woman’s voice had told him not to waste his time.
The blonde man returned to collect on his bet. Joe moved closer just in
case he caused her any trouble. He had no desire to fight the man, who
was a good three inches taller than he was, but he would, for her.
“I believe you owe me a dinner,” the blonde man smiled
Joe slowly slid her bar tab toward her.
“I am assuming you will take care of that.” She nodded toward the
bar tab. She smiled as she began walking slowly toward the door. Joe had
never seen a woman walk so sensuously.
The blonde man picked up the bar tab, raised an eyebrow, then counted
eight, one-hundred dollar bills from his wallet and tossed them on the
As an afterthought, he tossed one more hundred on the bar, “For
you,” he smiled, then quickly caught up with the woman, placing his
hand on the small of her back, as she walked out the door.
Excerpted from "Must be Murder (To Love a Witchl Series, Book 2)" by D. J. Jouett. Copyright © 2015 by D. J. Jouett. Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. Excerpts are provided solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.