Emma Praught has everything a woman could wish for: a house, a husband, and a teen daughter who she wouldn’t trade for the world. But when she receives that fateful call, everything falls apart.
Her husband is dead. The life she knew is over. And before she has a chance to make sense of it all, death threats roll in and so does a man from her past. One she never expected to see again.
Devon Matthews, in the stupidity of his youth, broke the heart of the only woman he ever loved. Something he has never gotten over. Now he has a chance to make it up to her by protecting them. And maybe, just maybe, she’ll find it in her heart to forgive him. If he can keep her alive, that is.
Will they make it through this unscathed or will Emma’s stubborn nature make the way difficult for them both?
One way or another, he’s not giving her up this time…
He sat there, outside Emma Praught’s house, with his hands on the steering wheel as he stared at her. The tan curtains in her living room were pulled back, and he had a clear view of her and her daughter.
He could take her out right here, right now, if he wanted to. But no, he was going to wait. Torture her a little before making his final move. She deserved it. They all deserved it. Everything was going fine in his world until they botched it.
Looking down on the seat beside him, he let his fingers roam over his sniper rifle. It wouldn’t take much to lift it up, aim it, and fire, but where was the fun in that? He much preferred to watch them slowly come to the realization that someone was coming for them.
That’s what he’d done to his cheating ex-girlfriend, too. The thrill that had raced through him when he haunted her, stalked her, and finally tortured her to death was like a drug, and now his body was crying out for more, for another. He loved watching their eyes glaze over as their spirit left their body.
And his dad was none the wiser to his activities. Man, if he found out, his dad would throw a goddamn fit, and he’d really be up the creek without a paddle. While home, he played the duty-bound man, the ever-loving son. But he found that boring. Why would anyone decide to live that way?
He was born to be a hunter. Not of animals, of course, but humans. It just took his girlfriend screwing around on him to find his calling in life. He was going to make them all pay for their indiscretions and have fun while doing it.
And this time his prey was that damn woman and her daughter. There was nothing that could stand in his way and no one to save them. They were alone and vulnerable. His favorite type to hunt. When they moved away from the window, he got out of his car and stretched out the kink in his back. He ran a hand through his freshly cut hair, then shoved a hat onto his head. As he walked across the street, he eyed the garden planted along the wall of the house.
Carefully making his way across the grass, keeping out of sight, he dragged his feet through her flower bed, crushing marigolds, sunflowers, and tulips in his wake. Grabbing a blue tulip, he quietly walked up the steps and left it on the front porch before disappearing back into his car.
Phase one of his plan was complete. Now he’d let her mull over that one for a while before making his next move. His phone vibrated on the passenger seat, and he looked at the caller I.D. It was his mom. He wanted to stay and watch Emma’s reaction, but he was being called elsewhere. And, like a good son, he’d be there for her.
He turned the engine on and pulled out onto the road. “I’m coming, Mom,” he said into the phone, before tossing it on the passenger seat. Glancing out the rain covered window, he flicked on the wiper blades. The rain filled the air with ominous music as the smell of wet musty dust floated through the slightly-open window.
When he could no longer see her house, his fingers tightened around the steering wheel. He hated leaving a job incomplete, and he ached to return and do what he knew was right. But it couldn’t be rushed. When you rushed, you screwed up. He had to plan it right to the smallest detail or things would go belly-up. And he had no plans on being the one in the coffin anytime soon.
“Bye Emma. I hope you enjoy my calling card.” Flowers. They were right up a woman’s alley.
Patricia Elliott lives in Beautiful British Columbia with her family. Now that their lovely kids are all teenagers, she has decided to actively pursue her passion for the written word.
When she was a youngster, she spent the majority of her time writing fanfiction and poetry to avoid the harsh reality of bullying. Writing allowed her to escape into another world, even if temporarily; a world in which she could be anyone or anything, even a mermaid.
Dreams really can come true. If you believe it, you can achieve it!
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