Love is Murder Story 01 - Grave Danger

Love is Murder Story 01 - Grave Danger by Heather Graham Read Free Book Online

Book: Love is Murder Story 01 - Grave Danger by Heather Graham Read Free Book Online
Authors: Heather Graham
The shuffling sound of footsteps had brought her here.
    A leg lay on the floor, burned and scorched, blood pooled and congealed along the severed flesh at the kneecap area. In the shadows, Ali MacGregor stepped carefully by it. She blinked and saw the enormous monster beyond the leg. Fanged teeth appeared to drip saliva; the eyes were red, as if within them, all the fires and brutal evil of hell could be found.
    Ali stood still, her heart thundering. She heard the noise again, the shuffling sound that had brought her here. She moved as silently as she could. Another step brought her face-to-face with the decaying skeleton of a one-eyed zombie.
    Tattered flesh fell from the bones. The jaw bare, the tongue and teeth looked truly macabre. Now, its head hung in a parody of sadness, creating something even more horrible about its appearance—a touch of humanity, eaten away.
    On screen, it had been one of the most terrifying creatures ever.
    She was proud of the zombie. She’d had a part in the creation, and she thought it was one of her best pieces. The one eye was brilliantly blue, and it seemed to watch her as she listened again to theshuffling sound that had come from the storage room at the production facilities of Fantasmic Effects.
    It was strange. She was accustomed to the horrific and the bizarre; without it, she wouldn’t make a living. But it was one thing when she was here during the day, when the rhythmic churn of sewing machines could be heard, when buzz saws roared, and there were people at every different workstation.
    How different it was by night….
    She was there alone for the first time. Of course, she wasn’t supposed to be alone. Victor Brill was supposed to be working with her. They were finishing up the last of the half-eaten zombies for tomorrow night’s shoot in the “graveyard.”
    The ironic thing, of course, was that the fake “graveyard” lay just beyond a real graveyard. A small plot in back fell under the jurisdiction of the Catholic Church. The land had been purchased and donated by Blake Richards, the brilliant man who had founded Fantasmic Studios . Despite his love of horror and the occult, Blake had been a devout Catholic, and a boy who had almost gone wrong, except for the intervention of a priest. Now, Blake Richards was buried in the plot that immediately bordered the brick-walled parking lot of the studios, and the fake cemetery had been established nearby.
    The cemetery had never frightened her. Not the real one, certainly. She’d loved Blake Richards; he’d hired her. He’d been the kindest man in the world, and the first to give a young artist a chance. So why was she so frightened tonight?
    Victor. The jerk.
    Victor had headed out to buy them both some fast food to get them through the next few hours. He’d left at five, when it had still been light. Now the sun had set, and the world around her was dark. Fantasmic Effects was out of the city, away from the congestion that seemed a part of all of Los Angeles County. Still, therewere other studios and businesses not that far away. Enough so that there were scattered streetlights here and there.
    The werewolf still seemed to be looking at her.
    I could call Greg. If he wasn’t working, he’d come. He’d come save me…just as he had been determined to save Cassandra.
    That sudden thought made her wince. Maybe Greg was with his ex-girlfriend now. Or, maybe, Ali had thrown away her happiness because she’d never really grasped his sense of responsibility. He’d told her once that as a homicide detective, he’d learned that it was only the living he could really help. Sure, the dead did deserve justice, and he could help get that justice for them. But it was those still in danger—whether from a perp or themselves—who still really needed help.
    Thinking about Greg wasn’t going to help her now. Realizing that she’d only gone on a few half-witted dates since she’d left their apartment that night certainly

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