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Inked Armour (Clipped Wings #2)
Author/Writer of Book/Novel:
1409152898 (ISBN13: 9781409152897)
In this follow-up to Clipped Wings, the emotional love story continues between Hayden and Tenley; two young people who desperately want to love and be loved but are afraid to completely let go of their pasts.
In the wake of losing Tenley Page, tattooist Hayden Stryker’s tumultuous past is haunting him. Plagued by nightmares about the murder of his parents, Hayden reaches out again to Tenley. Having run from the man she doesn’t believe she deserves, Tenley finally lays her guilt to rest. Despite their intense physical attraction, Hayden and Tenley struggle to repair their fragile emotional connection. As Hayden gets closer to the truth, he must find a way to reconcile his guilt over his parents’ death in order to keep the woman who finally cracked his armor, and found her way into his heart.
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At 6:23 in the morning, the front door opened downstairs and the security system let out a chirp, signaling Trey’s arrival. I held my breath as I listened for the sound of the code being punched in, then a warning beep, followed by Trey’s irate curse.
Last night I’d changed the security code for the seventh time in as many days. I started doing it after I woke up to him standing over my bed, screaming bloody murder about the tattoo on my back. Verbal abuse from my almost brother-in-law was not a good way to wake up. Since he’d thwarted my attempts to have the lock changed, I made the alarm system the bane of his existence.
Trey strung together creative new phrases describing exactly what he thought of me; he knew the alarm would start shrieking at any moment. I reached for my iPhone, jammed in the earbuds, and scrolled to the playlist I’d created for this freak show. Hard rock filled my ears as the alarm went into full panic mode.
Before long he started pounding on my door. Nabbing the remote from my night table, I turned on the surround sound hooked up to the flat-screen and blasted techno beats, then went into my bathroom to shower. Trey hated techno.
The pounding had ended by the time I’d showered and dressed. With practiced stealth, I silently turned the dead bolt on my bedroom door. Opening it a crack, I peeked out. No Trey, but that didn’t mean he was gone. He’d waited for hours before; his persistence knew no bounds.
Just outside the door was a pile of papers and a pen for me to sign over the property. He’d shown up each morning without fail, but in the past week his tactics had changed slightly. Occasionally he left the papers and ambushed me later in the day or the evening. The past couple of days, he’d gone back to waiting me out.
My response never changed. I always tore up the papers and watched them scatter like fat snowflakes on the floor. Their destruction had become a ritual I enjoyed.
I was about to shred the ones left for me this morning when I noticed they weren’t the usual documents. The stack was thinner. I leafed through the pages, frowning as I absorbed the content. The back page held my sloppy signature. Based on what I was reading, I’d signed over power of attorney to Trey.
I had absolutely no recollection of reading this document, never mind signing it. According to the date, it was drafted and made legal two months after the accident. I’d been released from the hospital at that point, but I hadn’t been in any state to care for myself, and Trey had put himself in charge of my medication. Now I understood why.
“Trey!” I crushed the documents in my fist and rushed down the stairs.
He was sitting at the kitchen island, typing away on his laptop with a coffee at his side. As if it were his house and not mine. I slammed the laptop shut on his hands.
“What the hell is wrong with you?” He stood, his chair toppling backward. The metallic clatter echoed in the open space.
“What’s wrong with me?” I shoved the papers into his chest. “What’s wrong with you? Do you think you can bully me into signing the house over?”
He seized my wrists to stop me from attacking him. His lip curled. “I have power of attorney. I can take everything if I want to.”
“Have you lost your mind? Do you honestly think this is going to hold? I wasn’t even lucid when I signed this.” I struggled against him, the bones in my wrists grinding painfully as his grip tightened.
“Sign over the house and it won’t be a problem.”
“Not to you, and especially not now!” I spat.
“Sign over the fucking house, goddamnit!” he roared.
“Why are you so intent on making me do this?” I screamed back.
“Because the estate is useless to me until I have possession of this house!”
He released my wrists and turned away to lurch around the kitchen, his wiry body jerking as he tried to get a handle on himself. Trey had never before lost control. I rubbed my wrists, red marks marring the skin where he’d held me too hard. His nostrils flared, eyes burning with hatred. He took a deep breath and adjusted his tie.
“There are five houses on the property; why do you need this one?” I asked, his motivation lost on me. Although, with him, logic need not apply.
“Are you really that stupid? I can’t sell the estate unless I own all the houses.”
“But in your parents’ will—”
“The will doesn’t matter anymore! My parents are dead, no thanks to your brilliant wedding plans, so what they wanted is irrelevant.”
The shot of guilt hit me like a bullet to the heart. “That’s not fair.”