I brew coffee downstairs, being careful not to make too much noise. He hates it when I’m loud. He likes to wake up gradually. I trudge upstairs, my bare feet freezing on the threadbare carpet.
I bring the coffee and I set it beside him. I pull one curtain open, just the way he likes it. It’s been snowing again. It’s so beautiful out there. So empty.
“Good morning,” he says. I turn away from the snow, my retinas pulsing and blind in the center of my vision from the stark white burst of light outside.
Sometimes, if I can get on his good side when he first wakes up, he’ll be nice to me for the rest of the day. Lately that happens less and less, but I still try.
“Sleep well?” he asks, sipping his coffee. He hands it to me and I take a sip. I don’t like coffee the way he has it, but he insists on sharing with me, probably to ensure I don’t poison him. He’s a smart man. Thinks of everything.
I ache between my thighs. I’m reminded of the night before. Of the guy who crept into my bedroom and fucked me until I hurt.
“Like the dead,” I reply. I had to check and make sure he was in a deep sleep before I showered the evidence away last night. I couldn’t risk him waking up and hearing me.
He smiles lazily, his eyes still puffy from sleep. The smile that could dazzle the entire female population has a hard edge to it. “I can see the cogs turning in your brain, Cassandra. What are you daydreaming about?”
I sit on the edge of the bed. My legs are tired and my head hurts.
“I remembered what a sociopath is.”
“Oh, yeah?” He props himself up on one elbow, the coffee finished, the cup discarded somewhere on the dresser beside him. “Enlighten me.”
“Somebody who’s empty inside. Somebody who needs to take from everybody else to fill them up. Because they were born wrong. Because there’s nothing inside them.”
He smiles; his lazulite eyes crease up ever-so-slightly at the edges. I imagine how beautiful he would have looked as a young child; how his mother would have melted whenever he smiled up at her. Because his eyes deceive. They don’t look empty. They’re beautiful, full of the souls of everyone else he’s sucked dry and left in his quest to find that something, that perfect thing to fill him up.
I can see myself in his eyes. My soul. He’s taken it from me.
“Do you feel empty?” I whisper.
He rests a hand on my upper thigh, all trace of his smile gone as he matches his fingers to the bruises he left on me in the night, in the dark. “Not when I’m inside you.”
The man I’ve been fucking for the past year, or rather, the man who’s been fucking me — his eyes gleam in the harsh sunlight that casts a brightness over the bedroom, bathing it in some macabre stage lights that scream: Action! But this isn’t make-believe, and the curtains won’t fall at the end of our grotesque little act, and after we’re done here, I won’t be able to peel my mask off and toss it on the ground as I exit the stage.
I swallow thickly. I wish he’d get tired of me.
“I heard you in the shower last night,” he says, his fingers squeezing into my flesh. “After I left you, you thought you could just wash me off like nothing happened, huh?”
My cheeks burn as I try to twist away from him; He sits up in bed and reaches for my throat, crushing my windpipe as he pulls my face to his.
“You need to learn,” he says, “that I know everything about you, Cassie. I know what you think. I know where you are. I know where you’re going. I know more about you than you know about yourself, darlin’.
“Say sorry,” he says, loosening his grip.
“I’m sorry!” I wheeze, my throat burning as tears stream down from my eyes.
“Not like that. Show me how sorry you are. Apologize.”
He pulls the covers back and fists a hand in my long hair, wrenching me down into his lap.
I do what I’m told. I show him just how sorry I am. I’m not sorry for washing him off me last night, though. I’m sorry that he ever came to this godforsaken town and ruined our lives.
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RELEASE DATE: June 27th, 2016
HAVE YOU SEEN THIS GIRL?
In the middle of a fierce snowstorm in Gun Creek, Nevada, a teenage girl disappears without a trace.
The second girl in as many years.
Identical cases. Identical conditions. Only last time, the girl was found. Dead, floating face-down in the creek that feeds the town’s water supply.
The killer was never found.
As the small town mobilises and searches for newly vanished Jennifer Thomas, one suspect comes to the fore. But did he do it? Or is there something else at play? Something nobody could have anticipated?
For Jennifer’s classmate Cassie Carlino, the worst is yet to come. As she pins MISSING posters to store windows and joins the search, she begins to suspect that Jennifer’s disappearance might be much closer to her than she could have ever imagined.
About the Author
Lili Saint Germain
Lili writes dark, disturbing romance. Her #1 bestselling Gypsy Brothers series was created in a serial format – quick, intense episodes released frequently with some wicked cliffhangers. The Gypsy Brothers series focuses on a morally bankrupt biker gang and the girl who seeks her vengeance upon them. The Cartel series is a prequel trilogy of full-length novels that explores the beginnings of the club, to be released in 2015 by HarperCollins.
Lili quit corporate life to focus on writing and so far is loving every minute of it. Her other loves in life include her gorgeous husband and beautiful daughter, good coffee, Tarantino movies and spending hours on Pinterest.
She loves to read almost as much as she loves to write.
Rie is the badass, sassafras author of Sugar Daddy and the Don’t Tell series–a breakthrough trilogy that crosses traditional publishing boundaries beginning with In His Command. Her latest endeavors include the Carolina Bad Boys, a fun, hot, and southern-sexy series.
A Yankee transplant who has traveled the world, Rie started out a writer—causing her college professor to blush over her erotic poetry without one ounce of shame. Not much has changed. She swapped pen for paintbrushes and followed her other love during her twenties. From art school to marriage to children and many a wild and wonderful journey in between, Rie has come home to her calling. Her work has been called edgy, daring, and some of the sexiest smut around.
You can connect with Rie via the social media hangouts listed on her website https://www.riewarren.com. She is represented by Saritza Hernandez, Corvisiero Literary Agency. http://www.corvisieroagency.com/Saritza_Hernandez.html
Annie Anderson is a military wife and United States Air Force veteran. Originally from Dallas, Texas, she is a southern girl at heart, but has lived all over the US and abroad. As soon as the military stops moving her family around, she’ll settle on a state, but for now she enjoys being a nomad with her husband, two daughters, and old man of a dog.
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Thrown together in the trenches of war, they must work as a team to stop a monstrous puppet master from pulling their strings.
Ashes, ashes. We all fall down.
Get ready to burn.
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By Bestselling Author Lucian Bane
On the seventh day, of the seventh year… she desecrates
Solomon and Chaos find themselves in the hands of evil. Tortuous days in the old asylum are no longer a thing of the past. The church is looking for redemption in the form of Solomon Gorge. And the deranged spirits of the past, beckon Solomon to come… come and see the secrets hiding in the walls of the asylum.
Solomon’s wheezes turned to loud heaves as four people unbound him. “Don’t… don’t do this,” he said, thrashing once he was free.
“Nooooooo! Noooooooo!” Chaos shrieked while the crowd began their terrifying chanting, unreachable and lost to any other reality.
The coffin with the straps was opened to reveal shiny black satin. Solomon screamed and twisted in panic, kicking his legs in every direction. When he got to the box, he braced both feet on the side and shoved with all his might. The mob holding him jolted back as the coffin skidded several feet.
More monsters came to help cram him inside the coffin. Solomon repeatedly grabbed hold of something, only to have them pry his fingers off. “No, no, please!” he roared when they finally got him in. He shot his legs and arms over the sides while they used a long stick to jab him back inside.
The lid suddenly shut and he screamed, banging his palms on the inside of it, fighting to breathe. Light shimmered through holes along the top and sides. “Pleeeeeeease!” he screamed. “Please don’t,” he choked, looking around as much as he could, his mind searching for anything to use as a weapon, a sliver of hope.
The coffin began to move, and he peered through the holes, straining to see. He was being lifted up. He caught a glimpse of the large black structure that got closer.
The covering was being removed.
Terror jolted through him at seeing a water tank.
From The Author
Hello, Lucian here. I’m a husband, author, and Christian who loves writing tales—paranormal erotic romance, contemporary erotic romance, fantasy romance, dark erotica and romantic thrillers– about men who honor, cherish, and protect the women they love. Also stories that are real enough to form a sort of how-to bridge for the readers, teaching them “how to” add heat and passion to their marriages and relationships; teach them how to build life-long commitments–like I have with my own beautiful wife–and build strong families; all of which serve as a healthy foundation in society.
I think there are many men like myself, and I hope my writing will be a map for them. A map for women as well, to teach them how to bring out the strength that exists within the men they call boyfriend or husband. Teach them how to dance out their fairytale romance in a world that isn’t kind to the happily ever afters we all hope to achieve.
You know, when I was younger, I submitted to my inner reckless and tireless desires, but when I gave myself to God and conformed my will to His, the transformation made me into what I am today. A man that believes and endorses Forever Love. Something we could stand a lot more of in our times, don’t you think?
More of this series
Desecrating Solomon (Book I)
Keep up with Lucian
Release Date: February 4, 2016
So many secrets. Nothing but secrets.I started another life with a new husband, thirteen new sister wives and a new
place to call home.
But the secrets weigh on me, on all of us.
And every secret leads back to the Prophet the, self-proclaimed, mouthpiece of
God. The man I’ve worshiped since childhood, the man we obey without question.
And he’s the man who will destroy us all.
I must reveal his secrets.
Prove his betrayal, his lies and his deceit.
I will not be silenced, no matter how hard he tries.
And I will never give up. Ever.
Melissa Brown was born and raised in the suburbs of Chicago. She attended the University of Illinois and is the mother of two fantastic kids. She’s an avid reader who enjoys making handmade gifts for her family and friends, as well as baking and painting. Melissa has an unhealthy obsession with pop culture. She speaks fluent movie quotes from the 1980s (John Hughes = genius), reads celebrity gossip magazines and never misses an episode of Scandal. She enjoys writing contemporary romance, romantic suspense and young adult novels.All of Melissa’s books are currently available exclusively through Amazon.com and are part of the Kindle Unlimited Program.
Title: Love Or Money
Author: Elizabeth Roderick
Genre: Erotic Thriller
Release Date: January 12, 2016
Publisher: Limitless Publishing
There’s a price to pay for living the fast life…
Gabriella Hernandez—known to her friends as Riel—almost wishes she could stay in prison. At least there she has steady meals, and a girlfriend who loves her. Even a cold cell is better than what’s waiting for her on the outside. The only people she looks forward to seeing in her normal life are her sister, Lizette, and her green-eyed best friend and former drug-running partner, Evan.
Drugs, danger, and a hot spark of romance…
Upon release, Riel has no choice but to go back to work for her brother-in-law, Isaias. This time, instead of running drugs, he forces her to work in his strip club where she gets a lousy ten percent of her tips. The daily dose of threats and coercion chains her to this place. And, if she makes a run for it, she’d be abandoning everyone she loves. With Isaias’ spies and henchmen everywhere, there’s nowhere to run.
A crooked cop, a setup, and hope for a real life…
Evan is able to smuggle her out of the city, but it isn’t long before Riel’s fears come true. After a bloody shootout with Isais’ men lands Evan at death’s door, it’s up to her to get them out of this deadly game, and into the quiet life they’ve always wanted. With the help of a crooked cop and the FBI, she concocts a plan. If it succeeds, Isaias goes to prison for life, and she and Evan get immunity from prosecution. If she fails, she may die—along with Evan, her sister, and countless others.
With eyes all over and the FBI involved, will Riel pull off the sting operation?
Or will they all go down in a blaze of drugs and gunfire?
His gave her a searching look, then brushed his lips against hers. “I know it’s not easy for you, being back.”
She raised her eyebrows. “You do?”
“I know how hard it was for you, working for Isaias. You never wanted to, he made you. You never said anything, but I could see it.” His jaw tightened. “I’d beat the fuck out of that guy if he and Maria wouldn’t have me killed for it.”
“Definitely not worth it,” Riel said, getting a jolt of fear. But it also felt good for him to say that. Did he really want to stand up for her?
A slow grin spread across his face, and he ran his fingers lightly along the curve of her waist. “I do have a way for you to get away from him, though.”
They gazed at each other. Her heart sped up. “What do you mean?”
“I recently got an offer from a guy I know named Mishmash.”
Her speeding heart stumbled, and she chewed the inside of her cheek. She had been hoping his plan wouldn’t involve more drug running, but she should have known. “I know him. The guy down in San Diego.”
“The very same. He says we can go work for him. A little more risk, maybe, because we’d have to cross the border, but it pays a lot better, and Isaias would never find us if we were down there. We could get new identities and everything so you don’t have that rap following you, and to hell with that probation crap.”
She took a deep breath and let it out. It would be nice to be with Evan. It would be really nice. But the thought of running drugs again made her feel dead inside. “I don’t know, Evan.” She looked up at him. “Do you really want to do this stuff for the rest of your life?”
He stroked her hair, gently working the tangles out with his fingers. “No. Not really. But…we could save up our money and retire somewhere where they’d never find us.” He kissed her, his hands sliding up to play with her breasts. She kissed him back, twining her legs with his, feeling a spark of hope. Did he really want to run off with her, get a house together? Or did he just need a partner in crime?
About The Author
ELIZABETH RODERICK grew up as a barefoot ruffian on a fruit orchard near Yakima, in the eastern part of Washington State. After weathering the grunge revolution and devolution in Olympia, Washington, Portland, Oregon and Seattle, she recently moved to the (very, very) small town of Shandon, California: a small cluster of houses amidst the vineyards of the Central Coast.
She earned a bachelor’s degree in Spanish from The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington, and worked for many years as a paralegal and translator. She is a musician and songwriter, and has played in many bands. She’s rocked pretty much every instrument, including some she doesn’t even know the real names for, but mostly guitar, bass and keyboards. She has two albums of her own, which you can listen to at pimentointhehole.com. She writes fiction novels for young adults and adults, as well as short stories, and keeps an active blog at pimentointhehole.com/blog.
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