BY: RONNIE ALLEN
His life is exactly the way he wants it to be—until he meets her…
Both psychic and clairvoyant, Dr. John Trenton is a forensic psychiatrist who has a wife he worships and a position as a department head at a hospital for the criminally insane in Manhattan. His patients—young adult men, who are some of the most psychotic and psychopathic criminals in NYC—enable him to live his life on the edge, just the way he likes it. Then he meets a woman who changes everything.
She is two days from accomplishing the revenge she lives for—until she meets him…
Stripper by night, school psychologist by day, Gemini obsessed Barbara Montgomery, makes a critical mistake and is committed for seventy-two hours of observation, where she risks it all in an unnerving escape. Furious with Dr. Trenton for interfering in her life, she is now determined to kill his wife and unborn child, along with everyone else who has ever caused her pain—real or imagined.
As the killing spree continues, John is forced to use all his ESP, as well as his knowledge and expertise, to interpret this psychopath’s Gemini obsession and unravel her dark and murderous past. But can he track her down and bring her to justice—before she destroys his world completely?
TAYLOR JONES SAYS: In Gemini by Ronnie Allen, Dr. John Trenton is a New York forensic psychiatrist who deals with young adult criminals mentally incapable of standing trial for their crimes. John is a clairvoyant and psychic and uses his paranormal skills in his work. He is well-known and respected in his professional life, but his personal life is going to hell. His wife is leaving him and going back to Florida, his relationship with the New York cops is deteriorating, and his new patient is a serial killer who escapes from his custody.
Allen has crafted a chilling tale of murder and revenge, of psychological obsessions, and man’s inhumanity to man. Her characters are complex, realistic, and extremely well-developed. Her plot is strong and well-crafted. The book is a page-turner and will keep you on the edge of your seat from beginning to end.
REGAN MURPHY SAYS: Gemini by Ronnie Allen is a story about duplicity. The zodiac sign of Gemini is the sign of twins, Castor and Pollux, who died tragic deaths. In Allen’s story, the protagonist, Dr. John Trenton, a forensic psychiatrist, works at a mental hospital in New York, where he treats criminally insane young adults. A consummate and extremely competent person in his professional life, John’s other half, his personal life, shows a very different side. Here he is needy and insecure. His wife, whom he adores and cannot live without, hates New York and goes home to Florida. John has certain paranormal skills, which he uses to his advantage in his work, but they seem to fail him completely in his personal life. The antagonist, Barbara Montgomery, is an identical twin. She’s also a stripper, a school psychologist, as well as a serial killer. Barbara makes a critical mistake when she loses her temper and attacks some New York police. The cops restrain her and send her to Dr. Trenton’s hospital for observation and diagnosis. John runs tests, talks with her, and diagnoses that she is a murderer. However, the cops think he’s nuts and fail to back him up, so John is unable to transfer her to maximum security. Naturally, she escapes and all hell breaks loose.
Gemini is a well-crafted, chilling, and entirely too realistic story about both sides of the coin of humanity and darkness that lives within us all. The book is too long to read in one sitting, but give yourself plenty of time when you start reading because this isn’t a book that is easy to put down.
Okay, girlfriend. Let’s get serious here. Tonight’s gotta be the night. Time’s runnin’ away from me.
She jammed her eyes shut, swallowed hard, and blew out a prolonged breath. Tonight could be rough. Or impossible. Her heart thumped in expectation of finding the right person to accompany her in the train wreck of her life.
She had no choice, but to make it work.
Her life depended upon it.
Before she could overthink it, she grabbed the pink paisley duffle bag, which held her outfit for the job, off the Queen Victoria chair that graced the corner of the hallway. The entire getup could fit in her jeans pocket but she had to go fancy. She zipped up the black patent leather stiletto heeled boots, hesitating for a moment, contemplating if she was getting too old to wear them. After a last minute once-over in the full length mirror on the adjacent wall, she reconsidered. Nah, not with her knockout bod. Women half her age didn’t look so good. Not even any laugh lines around her eyes to give it away. She winked in the mirror and her emerald contact lenses twinkled back.
She eased the door closed to her ritzy Manhattan apartment at one a.m. with her right hand on the knob and her left palm on the door, guiding it to the latch so that her ears alone heard the soft clicks of the bolt.
Can’t wake those old geezers next door. Otherwise, I’ll just have to do what I do best.
Chills of anticipation snaked through her as she traversed the darkened hallway to the elevator all the while listening for footsteps in her neighbor’s apartment. The elevator door opened. She slipped in.
All was good.
They got to live another night.
Undulating her body on stage, she made the most of the techno and house music in Zodiac, the dark and dingy strip club on the lower west side of Manhattan. She encircled her legs around the glistening pole as if she was the giftwrap for a valuable prize for the men watching her. Very expensive giftwrap. The embroidered red dragon on the outer side of her right boot reflected in the glaring lights as she raised her leg and arched her firm midriff. She held onto the pole with her left arm as she extended the right. Her impressive breasts popped out of her skimpy top. Standing upright and feigning embarrassment, she put her hand over her mouth. After a few moments to entice the enthralled men, she cupped her breasts in the palms of her hands sliding her thumbs over her nipples and they slithered back into the cups. She bent over and gave a flirty wiggle to make sure the girls were back in place. Wearing a Lucille Ball flame-red wig, and so much makeup, with bright emerald contact lenses, she camouflaged her true self. She wouldn’t want anyone to see her true self. She didn’t want to see her true self.
While she danced to the hard and fast music, keeping the rhythm and gyrated her hips, her gaze wandered around the room, focusing on some shirtless men whose bodies weren’t worth a second look, and then down the stairs. Then she saw him.
The bum who was older than the rest.
The bum pushed people aside on the dance floor to get through the crowd on his way to the stairwell. His ratted knapsack swiped against two twenty-something guys in the middle of an E exchange who were too engrossed in what they were doing to notice him. But she could read him. She could tell he was the type who would go unnoticed. Medium height, medium build. She’d wait to make her decision when he got closer.
Ignoring everyone, the bum walked steadily up the stairs to the second floor. The black light illuminated the astrological signs painted in neon on the wall behind him. Those going up and down the stairs needed to squint from the glare. Blindness and burning eyes from the artificial smoke overwhelmed them. The bum clung to the banister, banging his knee on the top step, the steepest one.
Good. He’s getting too old for this. Perfect.
The bum settled on a bar stool in front of the rack. The stripper preferred to acknowledge it as Pervert’s Row. Her stare was glued to him as he took unhidden slugs from the bottle of whisky he pulled from his knapsack. She saw him as a ruined man, haggard and wrinkled beyond his forty-five or so years. His nicotine-yellowed fingernails helped to give him away. Smoking must have been the culprit, adding wrinkles of a much older man. He probably survived by ignoring his tattered clothes and receding hairline, though he’d let his blond hair grow long around his ears and longer in the back. Gray roots over dark brown had emerged. He needed another bleach job.
Dancing in front of him, she enticed him with her narrow waist, slightly wider hips, and strong defined legs to match her moves.
“Hey, baby, how about giving me some of that?”
The stripper gave him the up and down. “You’re not green enough, pal.”
“I can share this with you,” he said, holding up the bottle. The haze of despair in his eyes reflected in the bottle of whiskey. She often had that same look.
“Don’t drink on the job, baby.” She was there to make money and she’d found her mark. Her attention followed the men tempting her with the largest bill. She was determined to make, at the minimum, the two hundred bucks she had to pay the club owner for tonight, plus an additional ten percent for the server who catered to her customers. Otherwise, all her bumping and grinding would leave her in the red. On a good night, she pulled in over a grand. However, from the looks of the crowd she surveyed tonight, she would have to work hard for anything close to that.
If she had only gone to one of the high-end clubs in Chelsea that she had worked in, she’d make five times that amount. But that wasn’t in her agenda for the immediate future. She had more dough than she’d ever need in off-shore accounts through other means, and ugh, her legal day job, a real farce of a day job, but she wanted more than money, now.
Now she wanted revenge.
For the past twenty-two years, more than half her life, she craved this revenge. It encompassed her mind, body, soul, and every cell within her. Her body shivered at the thought. She lifted high toward the heavens. It was her spirit lifting. She could taste it. She could smell it. The scent of sweet mango teased her nose. Her universe gave her that scent as a signal. She was on her way to getting what she craved.
She cringed on the inside and, at the same time, forced a smile at the short, rotund, bald-headed man waving a fifty in her direction, coaxing her to pay attention to him. “Com’on, honey, ignore him.”
Knowing very well he couldn’t afford it, but she would take what she could get, she turned away from the bum. She blew kisses at the bald-headed man a few inches above his head while snatching the fifty. She let him rub his greasy unshaven cheeks between her bounteous breasts for just a moment as she slid the bill into her boot. Then she pulled back from him in a heartbeat. He smiled.
As she looked for another mark, the bum reached far up onto the stage and grabbed her leg throwing her off balance. His first mistake. She recouped and kicked him in the chin knocking him backward with a strength that forced the onlookers to back away. “Fuck off, buddy, you’re ruinin’ my act!” Her loud New York accent permeated the music.
He tumbled to the floor with a bleeding gash on his chin from her pointy-toed, five-inch stiletto. He rebounded faster than she expected. In an Irish Brogue, he said, “I’m not giving up on you, Sheila!”
She smiled as his comment struck a chord deep within her, unlike the other losers, who merely whimpered away like wounded pups.
Sheila. It’s better than being called “bitch.”
“Try that again bud and you’ll wind up on the first floor.” She resumed dancing around the pole, ready to strike again at the simplest provocation from him or anyone else in the room.
A tattooed bouncer, with his biceps and six-pack outlined by his skin tight black Zodiac T-shirt, grabbed the bum by his jacket collar to drag him down the stairs. The bouncer had a firm grip on the bum, who struggled and fell over the red velvet couch against the wall. Still, held by the collar, he strained from the bouncer’s strength as the glare from the swirling psychedelic lights blinded him.
“Clancy Davis. Remember the name, baby. We’re gonna become real good friends, real soon.”
She trembled for a moment, and stood still, but this wasn’t new to her. It went with the territory, almost every time and in every club in which she worked. It made her hard and indifferent, but resilient.
She’d initiated her personal vendetta now. Nothing would thwart her. No one would stop her. Ever.
She continued to dance, swaying her body to the music faster than before, while caressing her now bare breasts. But something was different about this one. Something different, yes–the aggression in his dark brown eyes, telling her he was once someone special, who longed to find his past.
Yes, Clancy Davis, we will become friends real soon. Yes, tonight was the night. You’re just the type of creep I’m looking for. Then you’ll be sorry you didn’t give up on me like everyone else. But you can bet I’ll make you rich, before you die.
Hanging one leg around the pole and sliding up and down, she rubbed her crotch on the shiny metal, floor to ceiling rod. She feigned moaning with pleasure to entice the enthralled men.
Assessing which one would give her sugar next, she lunged back, holding the pole with her left arm and letting her right arm taunt and playfully touch the next unwitting fool.
All the while, she pondered her next move with Clancy.
Manhattan never slept even in the dead of winter, but this area in the lower west side dozed.
Pushing out the door into the snow-filled streets, Clancy staggered and onlookers moved to avoid him. “The nerve of that bitch to ignore me like that.” Some young hookers on the street rushed past him. “Who are you lookin’ at?”
The streetlights made round reflections in the snow, which was dirty from the traffic and pedestrians struggling their way through it. It was eerie walking here at this hour. The sleaziness. The danger. The loneliness. Clancy liked it this way. He had a lot to hide and the less people saw him, the better.
Out of breath, with frigid air coming out of his nose, he wobbled and struggled to keep himself upright. He passed a couple of vintage furniture stores, a modern art gallery, a theater, a tailor shop, and a park that closed at three a.m. He made it down the brownstone and tree-lined side street to the abandoned house on the corner. It was the perfect temporary home for him. With broken windows, doors boarded up, bricks falling down from the sides, and graffiti sprawled all over, no one would care about the non-rent-paying tenant.
Walking down the steps to the studio basement apartment, Clancy eyed two rats scrounging around the overflowing garbage pail. He threw his knapsack over them to scoop them up, taking them by surprise.
“These little cocksuckers’ll be put to good use soon,” he mumbled as he zipped up the sack. With his fingers trembling from the cold, he turned the key in the padlock to open the door. He plopped down on the weathered Salvation Army couch he got for twenty bucks and scanned the room. He’d developed this habit every time he returned to make sure everything was still there. The cameras–Arriflex 35 mm, and an old Mitchell along with different lenses, a stead cam, base tracking, and hand held cameras, and a photo developing tent in one corner, which had not been used in years, since the industry went from film to digital–were all he had left. Against the wall was a shelf with statues. Some Emmys and one Oscar. He picked up one of the Emmy’s, read the inscription with his name, Clancy Davis, as if he needed to remember they were his. He hurled the Emmy onto a table holding a stack of Cinematography magazines. The head broke off and rolled onto the floor.
In her palatial, six-room, Central Park West apartment the stripper relaxed on her six-thousand dollar royal blue, velvet, wing-arm couch in the living room. She had updated the apartment’s 1950s era décor during the last twelve years since she “inherited” it. She flipped open the laptop on the mirrored glass coffee table. Lights reflected off every wall and item of furniture. She lived in a maze of glass. Fragile glass that could shatter in a moment’s notice. Fragile, just like her life.
It was six a.m. She hadn’t slept in over twenty-four hours.
Googling Clancy Davis, she found him on the first page.
Oh yeah. I could sure use your talents, Clancy. This is a tad dated but I’ll find you. I always do. I’ll find you. Use you. And dispose of you. Just like all the others. And you’ll never know what hit you. Just have to make sure the cops aren’t after you. Can’t afford them busting in here. I’m much too precious to be in a cage. Nope. That’s not even an option. Now, to make sure.
She reached for a wooden box on the coffee table. The painted eagle and the Native American woman on the top of the dark blue box peered into her eyes. She opened it and lifted a deck of tarot cards into her left hand. She asked a question. Is Clancy the right man for this mission?
She shuffled the deck, split it in two, revealing the Major Arcana card, The Magician, and the Nine of Cups, also known as the Genie card.
Perfect. The two most positive cards in the deck. I’m on a roll now. Thank you, Universe.
She slipped the two cards back into the deck, kissed the top card, compressed the deck to her heart, replaced it in the box, and then leaned back on the couch.
She pulled off the wig, shook her head, revealing long, highlighted blonde hair. She popped out the emerald contact lenses and then pulled off the boots, emptying the contents onto the hand-woven, sky-blue shag carpet that mimicked the color of her eyes. Out flew bills in twenties, fifties, and a few hundreds.
Last to hit the carpet with a bounce was a Charter Arms Pink Lady .38 caliber.
My closest and dearest friend. My only friend.
She embraced the mother-of-pearl, pink-marbleized handle in the palm of her hands, bringing it up to her lips. She adorned it with a long sensual kiss, running her mouth from the short handle to the end of the metallic pink barrel. She then moaned an exaggerated, long, and relaxed sigh. Coming back to the present, she removed its five bullets and put them into a heart-shaped jeweled treasure box coated in its entirety with emeralds and rubies with a diamond tiara serving as the handle. She then placed it back on the far right corner of the table–its permanent place.
She had decorated the apartment in yellows, blues, and accents in hot pink, which were very calming to her anything-but-calm life. She loved her cartoon paintings, many of them of princesses from contemporary artists. She received peace in the sense of magic, charm, and whimsy, but no child had set foot in this home.
This was her private haven, where she escaped from all of the death around her. All of the death she’d caused. All of the deaths she planned to cause.
© 2015 by Ronnie Allen