by Clara Zane
Ingrid stood on the balcony, surveying the backyard. That hunk of a pool boy had cleaned the pool, and it shone like a blue crystal. She relished the slight cool breeze that cascaded around her, drying the beads of sweat she'd worked up in a vigorous love-making session with Max, who still lay content in bed. As always, it had been a cathartic experience for her, erasing the memory of last night's one-night stand, and for him, wiping the slate clean from a tryst with his mistress.
Both knew the other wasn't faithful, just as they knew they still loved each other completely. As long as they didn't bring up their shared infidelity, that ugly Green-Eyed Monster wouldn't strike. Besides, their unspoken make-up sex, which always took place late the next morning, was too damn hot, and neither wanted to compromise that.
Her gaze shifted from the shimmering pool to her tree-lined rose garden. Maybe she'd stroll through later that afternoon after the sun sunk a bit. For now she'd simply enjoy being on the balcony.
"Ingrid, who's Jeremy?" Max called from the bed. "Was he your lay last night?"
She froze. He was. How would Max know? Why would he ask?
Something moved in the rose garden. Something big, though she couldn't tell what. It staggered through the bushes, coming towards the house. The thorns had to dig into its flesh, but it didn't make a sound, at least as far as she could hear. What the hell was it?
"Why do you ask, Max?" Though she was sure she didn't want to know the answer.
He didn't answer right away, and when he did, she sensed his hesitancy. "That's what you called me. Jeremy. When you were deepest in your throes."
Crap. She'd never done that before. Jeremy had been good, but not the best. And certainly not better than Max, not by a long shot. He certainly hadn't been worth calling out for, so why had she done it? But the damage was done; she heard the hurt in Max's voice.
The thing in the rose garden burst through, and Ingrid's breath froze in her chest. A big, hairy beast, tinted green, sprinted towards the house. Saliva dripped down its oversized jaw onto its chest. It turned its misshapen head up to her, and she gasped at the bright emerald eyes. The thing dashed around the back patio towards the side of the house, where she knew the garage door was unlocked, not to mention a few open windows. Nothing would stop the thing from getting in.
"Ingrid?" Max called. "Talk to me." A tiny dose of anger joined the hurt.
She sighed and walked into the bedroom. They needed to hash this out. She didn't know much about the Green-Eyed Monster, but she did know it would eat them alive. If they didn't get rid of it right away, it would be the death of them.