Monday, July 1, 2013

Vogel House by John Forrester First Chapter!


Clarise Chambers is rich, confident, and beautiful. Life is about shopping for designer labels and hanging out at private parties thrown by her older brother Phillip while her parents are off getting drunk.

She’s never really been attracted to boys at her prep school, until she falls for Keary. With his dreamy eyes and sexy hair, she can’t stop imagining his beautiful hands discovering every inch of her body. Instead of afternoon study sessions, she fantasizes an erotic afternoon with him in bed.

The carefree, unshakable Clarise is startled by a secret, a secret involving Vogel House, her father and Keary’s father, a secret that threatens to tear her away from Keary and destroy her family. When her father forces her to stay away from Keary, Clarise finds herself caught between fighting for her family’s survival and her passionate romance with Keary. Her obsession for him crashes into the plot of revenge by Keary’s father, whose sole purpose is the destruction of everything she loves in life.

Contains strong language, drug use, and sexual content.

Published: May 2013 by Amber Muse
Genre: Contemporary Romance, suspense
Audience: New Adult (18 - 30)
Format: ebook


ZACHARY LIES SPRAWLED across the stiff leather sofa of Father’s study, his hair messed up from Giselle’s probing fingers, and his once neat, white polo shirt wrinkled from wrestling with Phillip. He gazes at the wood-paneled ceiling as if imaginary butterflies adorned the air. I know he is high; I can tell by the teetering of his head and the way he shifts his gaze around the dimly lit, cave-like study where Father often retreats when Mother is in one of her drunken rages. Flecked with amber crystals, Zachary’s faint-green eyes hold a kind of euphoric expression that aims across darkly stained bookshelves lined with leather volumes, down over to the billiards table on the far side of the room, closer to where my brother Phillip is holding Giselle, and then over to me where it pierces through me as if I am a will-o’-the-wisp.
I pull back as his long arms reach out stupidly to hold me, his breath smelling of mint and sherry, mumbling, “Starlight…your hair is covered in starlight…” with his Southern drawl that always keeps him as an outsider at our Andover prep school. But Phillip loves him anyway, and Zachary spends so much time here at Vogel House, our historic estate outside of town, he practically lives here. My brother always has a kind heart for lost causes: clueless, beautiful boys—dreamers who gaze at shape-shifting clouds hoping for answers. And Zachary is truly a dreamer: a hedonist who unfortunately knows just how wealthy his family is—and that knowledge only emboldens him to take flight and drift wherever Phillip’s wind blows.
Phillip is in fine form tonight, strutting about the room, his mane of long, wavy black hair dancing, locked in an embrace with Giselle, their bodies humming together as the sound of a vintage Pink Floyd LP plays on Father’s cherished and forbidden sound system. Giselle preens and positions herself strategically over Phillip’s thighs, and giggles as his face oozes a don’t-you-want-me-now expression. A shimmering line of sweat dashes down her bare back, disappearing behind her red evening dress. Her nostrils flare, breath aroused and tight, and her legs quiver a moment, then tremble as Phillip raises her up—his slender, elegant hands gripping her lithe hips until she makes a lame attempt at wriggling free and they both tumble drunkenly onto the silk rug.
Why am I still here? I gape at them, unable to move, his lips glistening from Giselle’s ravenous tongue, fascinated by all the movements and gestures of love I’ve never known, but always wanted to, like a voyeur craving more than visual stimulation. Giselle’s eyeliner is smeared, purple shadows under her impossibly cute doll eyes, making her look like a cheap prostitute after a hard night’s work.
I stiffen as Giselle catches my gaze. She scoffs and crawls off Phillip, her dress hiked up to reveal legs slender and perfect, and her face scowling atop a slender ballerina neck. I want to strangle her until her face turns purple, the color of her slutty eyeliner.
“Are you seriously staring at us?” Giselle’s voice sounds wonderfully like a barmaid with a broken nose, dragging down her otherwise perfect self.
I cough slightly, blush, and recover quickly. “It’s like watching Animal Planet.” And Giselle is the antelope getting ravaged by the lion.
Zachary rolls over on the couch, seemingly back in the real world, and peers over at Phillip. I notice my brother’s arousal under his black trousers as he tries to pull Giselle back on top of his lap. She slaps one of his hands and then shivers as the other covertly caresses her left breast. Her smudged lips separate to allow a throaty moan to escape, and her eyes close involuntarily as he surgically maneuvers across mysteriously sensitive parts of her body. I realize my mouth is hanging open and am surprised when Giselle’s nasally voice interrupts the spell.
“God, Phillip, you’re making me wet.” She makes a vain attempt at pulling down her dress while Zachary stares at her, a fascinated, dreamy expression on his sleepy face.
“She’s like an angel…a fallen angel of ivory swimming in a pool of fire. So red…so bright.” Zachary’s voice is barely audible—slurred, as if he were a sleepwalker describing an ethereal dream. He runs a hand up the back of his neck, digging through his hair, then out towards Giselle’s dress like he wants to possess her.
“Just trust me,” Phillip whispers in Giselle’s ear, allowing his manicured nails to travel up her neck. “Take this, you’ll feel heavenly.” He presses something small and white into her unresisting mouth. “It’s so warm in here. Isn’t it, Clarise?”
For the first time since we came inside and locked the doors to Father’s moody study, Phillip looks at me with his kind, tender, illuminated amber eyes—eyes that try to convince me that the world is such a beautiful, amazing place, and ask, Don’t you see it too, Clarise?
I’m always riding his wave, with Phillip at the helm, my sense of propriety intentionally pushed aside, and his imagination leading us all astray. There are no limits to my brother’s vision of the world: no barriers, no taboos—only beauty and pleasure. And of course, that always gets us into trouble. As if my drunken wretch of a mother even cares, as if she even notices beyond the haze of martinis clouding her dim-witted view of high society.
“I just can’t stand her staring at me.” Giselle glares at me and glances spitefully at Zachary. “And I’m not a dancer on stage performing for you either.”
“But you’re so lovely. Everything is majestic, like the soft glow of the twilight sky.” Zachary brings on a slow smile that suddenly fades to a grave expression of doubt and fear. “Unless the darkness is coming…hideous shadows…Is it getting dark?”
Phillip wags his head from side to side, a smile playing on his lips. “She just needs time to see it. Soon. Be patient.” He pets Giselle’s head and her tension withers, placid for a time, until a quiet mood possesses the room.
The Dark Side of the Moon entrances me, creating a haunting chill that spikes down my spine. I know why my father loves this music, and smile to myself at the bitter memories the album recalls in my mother’s mind. Her old rival and Father’s once muse. How I wish I could have known her.
“What is it going to do to me?” Giselle’s forehead crinkles fretfully as she searches Phillip’s vague, distant eyes for answers.
Phillip catches Zachary’s knowing gaze and they share a thoughtful moment, soundless words passing the ether between them. Then, as if synchronized swimmers, they turn their heads at once, eyes resting first on my face, then down to my figure until I feel their eyes molesting my body.
“You’ve grown up, Clarise.” I don’t like the wicked tone in Phillip’s voice, as if he was trying to assemble the image of me as a girl flowering into a woman. This time I blush.
“I told you they call your sister belle jeune fille as she saunters down Scheumann’s halls.” I fluster as Zachary’s eyes illuminate, his smile clearly lustful. “In a year all the girls will hate her even more than they already do. Keep her close, Phillip, from those wily brats packing around her in class.”
A glint sharpens in Phillip’s left eye. “Oh, I highly doubt she cares much for boys in her class. They’re as immature and clueless as one would expect. I’ve seen how she looks at you, Zach, and how could she not? Even the gods tremble at the ravishing beauty of youth.”
Luckily Phillip had no way of knowing that my expression had been one of suppressed laughter and academic curiosity. Zachary is indeed beautiful, worthy of demigod labeling, but hardly of interest to my sensible mind. However, come to think of it, could Phillip be talking about the times I sat on the bleachers watching his lacrosse practice on hot, Indian-summer days? When all the boys, Zachary included, made fine glistening portraits—their silky, wet skin shimmering in the hazy sunlight. I did feel something then, a vague stirring that roused me to stand up and move.
“She’s remembering now, isn’t she, Phillip? That day I caught her staring at me during practice and she practically ran away. Funny how idle time spent cheering your brother on can lead to lust’s first arrival. Poor, beautiful girl. It was confusing for me the first time as well. I got all poetic—writing down nonsense while my cock was hard in my pants thinking of her, Jennifer, my first. Well, it wasn’t really a crush, I guess, more like a fever. A sultry, Southern sweat.”
I turn my head from Zachary’s wondering, imaginative gape, and Phillip laughs, pulling in the now placid and willing Giselle over his crotch. “You romantic Southerners, all poetic and suffering under your hot, muggy nights. I’m amazed you could sleep at all. Most likely if I lived in the South, I’d turn into a vampire.”
“And you’d suck out all my blood,” whispers Giselle, her mouth perusing the side of Phillip’s neck.
Zachary turns his gaze back to Giselle’s now languid form. “She’s open now. The light around her body…the color’s changed to purple. She’s sweating.”
Phillip leans in close to Giselle’s ear and suggests that she’s too warm, and deftly tugs her insubstantial dress up over her arms. I gasp, breathless for a moment, shocked at the speed and fascinated by the erotic contour her flushed body makes leaning towards my brother. Tiny, pink nipples rub against his cotton shirt as I cringe against the sofa, wishing I could curl up and hide, but something wicked anchors my hips to the floor. What the hell is Phillip doing? Is he going to get naked? Are they going to have sex right here on the floor?
“She’s like a fairy, a mythical princess of an enchanted wood.” Zachary’s eyes radiate warmth and blatant allurement.
I want to run away. This has all gone too far—my damned brother always pushing the limits—but my heart is thudding in my chest, my hands feel flushed, and my tongue’s gone thick and wet with saliva. I know I shouldn’t be here, but nothing can take me away.
Giselle’s head lashes back as my brother’s tongue flicks at her nipple, her long golden hair sailing up and around in an elegant arc, and she releases a piglike grunting moan. I feel repulsed listening to her voice; I want to gag her for ruining the beauty of the moment, for shattering the memory of Zachary’s melodic, drugged words. I again imagine wrapping my hands around her delicate neck, and wonder what hideous sound she’d make then.
But I still continue to watch them, an illicit curiosity raging through me as I wonder what happens next. Phillip truly is like an insatiable lion, mounted over his lovely, fragile prey, with his long black locks tussling about as he ravishes her willowy, stark form. Instead of blood painting the creature a vivid red, only brilliant prickles of light illuminate the places on her ruddy skin where Phillip’s lips and tongue have explored. I notice her legs twitching involuntarily as his hands glide down between her legs—his index finger moving as if he is delicately rubbing an itch.
Giselle squeezes her thighs together so hard they choke Phillip’s tender hand. But instead of fighting it, he relaxes and allows Giselle to whimper choked sobs—the sound beautiful this time—like a little girl crying for a lost puppy.
Phillip reclines back, his wet fingers digging into Father’s extravagant purchase: a fabled Persian rug once rescued from the revolution but now stained with Giselle’s fluids. Can’t he at least wash his hands or something? Now I have to tell Ms. Halfax to hire the rug cleaners again. Phillip and his stupid antics.
Both Phillip and Zachary’s drugged faces are beaming in wonderment as they gaze at Giselle writhing passionately on the floor. Her small, naked form is curled up. An arm is clutched around her chest while her other hand is pressed down between her legs. Her eyes are pinched shut while spasms twist her face in strange, unknown expressions.
“Isn’t it amazing, Clarise?” Phillip’s clear voice startles me from my obsessed reverie.
I flit my eyes over at him for a moment, then the gravity of Giselle’s form pulls my eyes back to her now subdued movements, as if she at once realizes she’s subject to the room’s gaze and cold air. Instead of crying—I would cry if I were her—an odd smile passes over her face: a look of wryness that might exist between conspirators. She impossibly launches herself up and glides elegantly into a pirouette en dedans, her eyes brilliant blue pinpoints gazing out into an invisible audience, her back arched and erect, and her slender arms curved and expressive, until she finally raises her hands into the air—her body a majestic sprite radiating youth and vitality to the world.
Phillip and Zachary clap weakly, and Phillip grasps her small hand and guides her over to the sofa where Zachary’s arms are waiting to envelop her. Her body lapses unresistingly into the curvature of his embrace, like a puppy held protectively from a wolf.
“Such a lovely dance. Really expressive…so beautiful.” Zachary’s voice is reassuring, almost whispering, as if to a child.
Phillip releases a tired, lazy sigh as his eyes study the door, more focused now, his expression alert, as if whatever drug he’s taken has worn off. His soft voice speaks only to me.
“The end is as bitter as bad wine, and even after the early sweet moment, the grave light of day threatens the dream.” His wistful eyes glisten, then flash brightness and cheer as he pats my cheeks and raises me up while looking down solemnly at Zachary and Giselle hugging like a sailor and his lover embracing for the last time.
As if on cue, the chimes sound dourly at the front door downstairs, and Phillip’s head snaps up to attention, his eyes flaring, and then he flips on the light and dives down to the rug, quickly grabbing Giselle’s dress.
“Get dressed now!” he hisses, yanking Giselle from Zachary’s tepid clutch. She resists sleepily, wincing at the light. “Help me, Clarise! Get her dress on before Father sees us like this. Zach! Unlock the damned door, will you? He’ll kill me.”
Zachary blinks a few times as if trying to rouse himself to action, but when he stands his legs fail to balance his body and he topples, chuckling, back on the sofa. I yank Giselle’s arm, pulling her away from Zachary, and glide her insignificant dress over her naked form. Phillip cranks the lock on the study door and opens it, meaning to peek down the hallway. Instead he finds himself face-to-face with Father’s tired, suspicious eyes.
“What in God’s name are you doing in my study?” Father pushes the door open, his white tuxedo tie dangling around his neck, and glances disapprovingly at Phillip. Then he enters the study and pauses to survey the room.
Zachary seems to have sobered up quickly. He swallows, looks at me as if for help, then lowers his eyes to the rug. Under the cold air that has entered the room, Giselle clutches her now prickling arms and fidgets on the sofa. I decide to take a more aggressive approach and clear my throat.
“Welcome home, Father. How was the Tosca performance?” I keep my face bright and interested, gazing into Father’s softening eyes.
Father opens his mouth, then tenses his jaw as if he’s trying to restrain himself. After a long breath he finally speaks. “Nothing like the Met, my dear, and the tenor was atrocious. Mother did enjoy the set design. You would have loved it.”
He motions Phillip over and gives him a gruff hug, jabs him playfully in the ribs, and ruffles up his hair. “I suppose that’s enough for tonight. We’ll talk about all this in the morning. Go on now to bed.” Father’s eyes linger amusedly on Giselle’s disheveled form. “Would you like Creighton to give you a ride home? Or you’re welcome to stay. Clarise can help make up a room for you.”
Giselle pinches her legs together, embarrassed, her eyes locked on her knees. “I should go home.”
Phillip leads Zachary and Giselle out of Father’s study, and—stumbling—they make their way down the hallway. Father frowns, ambles over to his audio system, and removes the Pink Floyd LP from the record player. He inspects the surface for scratches and, appeased, places the LP lovingly back inside the cover and turns off the system. With only the sound of his fingers tapping on the cabinet, I worry about a scolding and feel sweat trickle down the small of my back.
“This isn’t like you, being here in Phillip’s house of horrors.” He glances at me, and his soft smile seems to relax the tension in his body. “There now, don’t frown. I suppose you’ve always been tagging along with Phillip…and now his game’s changed. He’s always pushing things—bending and twisting the rules of conduct society expects.”
“I didn’t do a thing, I promise. They were the actors on stage.”
Father laughs at that, first a chuckle, then a rumble that swells in his broad chest and makes its way up to his throat. “Yes, my dear, how true…actors on a stage.” He looks up at me, his eyes suddenly angry and cold, sending a chill down my spine. “Just promise me you won’t audition for any of the parts, especially not with the likes of that Zachary. Find a boy your own age.”
I nod my head, frozen by the harsh tone of his words; then I flash a frightened smile and turn to go off to bed. But as I cross the threshold to the hallway, I swear I hear Father whisper, “And don’t become a slut like your mother.”


About the Author

John Forrester is the author of Vogel House, Fire Mage, Sun Mage, and Shadow Mage, from the fantasy series Blacklight Chronicles. A few of his inspirations include the Harry Potter series, Catcher and the Rye, Lord of the Flies, The Hunger Games, Game of Thrones, The Lord of the Rings, The Golden Compass Series, and The Name of the Wind. As for favorite writers, he stands in awe, to humbly learn and admire, writers including Hemingway, Steinbeck, Dostoyevsky, Nabokov, Checkhov, Tolstoy, Salinger, Golding, Fitzgerald, George Orwell, Somerset Maugham, Cormac McCarthy, Stephen King, and of course, J. K. Rowling.

Social media links:
Twitter: @JohnForrester

Praise for Vogel House:

Sexy! A fascinating story of wealth, sex, and suspense. ~ Lauren Calvin at Amazon

[John’s] writing style somewhat resembles that of the Marquis De Sade in that it is finely detailed, prose like and unabashedly sexual. ~ Mochalove at Goodreads

The descriptive imagery was a fresh of breath air yet reminded me of the classics. ~ Manal A. at Amazon

Other books by John Forrester:

The Blacklight Chronicles (middle grades fantasy series)
            Fire Mage (Book 1)
            Sun Mage (Book 2)
            Shadow Mage (Book 3)

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