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I’ll find the bast@rd who did this to her!
This steamy, contemporary, romantic suspense will keep you company tonight, tomorrow, and the day after. No cheating and a satisfying happily ever after!
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I’m dead – ten seconds from it, at least.
This guy’s going to kill me.
My legs pump. My thigh muscles scream, and I ignore them. Rough denim chafes my skin, and my blouse sticks to my sweaty chest. A red curl falls into my face, but I can’t be bothered to brush it aside. My feet pound against the pavement.
This can’t be it. This cannot be the end. I’m only twenty-six years old. I am not going to die chased down by some asshole in a ski mask.
My chest heaves but my lungs are already filled to capacity, splitting with pain.
I have to press on. I have to keep running.
I look over my shoulder. He’s at end of the alley, loping after me. I’ve gotta shake him. Who is he?
I turn a corner and slam into a chain link fence.
Great. Just great.
I dig my fingers into the gaps in the ice-cold chain-link metal and claw my way up. I scale until I reach the top and flip over, plummeting down to the other side. I glance back for a fraction of a second, my body desperate for a moment’s rest. It’s a bad idea. The man clinks against the chainmail and climbs behind me.
“Fuck, fuck, fuck,” I breathe. I sprint off again, hyperaware of the scrape of his boots on the concrete.
‘Become a journalist,’ they said. ‘It’ll be fun,’ they said.
I curse the last few months of my life and every bit of information I discovered. In truth, though, journalism – finding out information the bad guys want to stay hidden – has been my life’s dream since I can remember. If I die tonight, I’ll never regret the decisions I made to bring me to this point.
I don’t care if they torture me.
I trip on a soda can, fall, and skid across the ground, the skin on my palms screaming as I slide along frozen concrete, my blood hot against the freezing ground. I roll onto my back, my palms pressed into the pavement, and stare up at my attacker. He doesn’t stop. He doesn’t hesitate. He swings his arm back, the knuckles of his fist facing me.
The back of his hand whacks into my cheek.
My head crashes into the pavement, adding to the excruciating pain that is now pulsing through my skull. I’m ready to die. I hope he makes it quick.
Instead, I fly into the air. My midsection slams against his shoulder, releasing any air I had left. He’s carrying me somewhere. Why won’t he get it over with? I consider asking him as much, but I’m having a hard enough time as it is finding my breath.
He walks on, carrying the body of a future dead girl.
Can I escape? I could try to kick his balls from this angle. I’ve always been tall, but I’ve never been the muscular type. My nickname in school used to be “willow.” It doesn’t exactly exude battle-ready confidence.
A door opens and slams behind us, an echo drifting into frigid silence.
My attacker walks on in the dark, and even I have to admit it’s impressive that he’s not tripping all over himself. It’s pitch black, and the night air adds a chill to my already shivering body.
I tense – I don’t want this asshole to think that I’m intimidated or afraid, which is bullshit, because I’m scared out of my fucking mind.
He stops, and I hold my breath.
He heaves me from his shoulder and places me in a chair. My eyes adjust to the darkness as he shuffles around. I can’t tell what he’s doing, and that only makes it worse.
How am I going to die?
I blink furiously, desperately trying to find purchase in a night that wasn’t supposed to end like this. While the street lights allowed me to see the ski mask, all I can do in this enclosed space is feel.
Sweat: he reeks of body odor, the stench of him sailing to me even as he stands some distance away.
He grabs my legs, and I jerk. A wave of despair washes over me. He’s tying them together, binding me. I thrust my feet out, try to kick his face.
Another fist crashes against the bones of my cheek, and I grunt in pain, slumping back down.
“Why?” I ask, into the night. It hurts to talk but I don’t care. Maybe I can distract him. Words have always been my best weapon.
He doesn’t respond. Not helpful.
“Why are you doing this? Who are you working for?”
I’m about to name names, to see whether or not the man gives away any clues when he grabs my hands and crams them together behind my back. My wrists are slippery, and my palms are pulsing as I bite back against the pain.
Scratchy cord cuts into my pale skin, and I pull my fists apart as much as I can without making it obvious. The man clearly has an advantage over me as far as size and strength go but if he’s intending to leave me tied to a chair, I have the cunning to find a way to get myself free.