Warning: This book is full of triggers. It’s wicked dark, with created evil falling in love. People die. They are hurt horribly. The bad guys get away, and there is no apology for it. Hardcore trigger within these pages.
Young Jacob had been a sight. Good-looking, Jacob could’ve had any girl he wanted if he would’ve been a normal teenage boy. But grown-up Jacob? He was a whole other breed of man. Handsome, with movie-star looks, a hidden darkness peered out from his eyes when he gazed at me. I lost all sense of reason underneath him. But what he’d said about him being my master and me being his toy filled me with an uncontrollable rage and made me crave his blood on my hands.
I was no longer a toy, and he sure as hell wasn’t my master. I was older, wiser, and much, much darker than he could imagine. He entered dangerous territory when he walked into my killing ground and had the audacity to knock me out as if he had some sort of control over me. Wait until I strangled him with my bare hands and sucked the life out of him. He’d see who was in control then.
“Alana, time to wake up.”
Glaring, I didn’t say a word to him. The bastard wanted something from me, he could damn well work for it. I was no longer that sweet, naïve eighteen-year-old. I was a grown woman who left bodies in her wake. I would not bow down to him so easily.
“Alana. Come on, baby. Noel, tell Mommy to be nice.”
“Jacob! Stop. Stop using Noel against me. That’s a dirty trick and you know it.”
“No, Alana. Someone has to remember him. Remember what we lost.”
“What we lost?”
“He should’ve been mine! You were mine. You were always mine. Father gave you to me. Then he stole you away. He fucking stole you out from underneath me!”
His words took my breath away. My stomach turned to stone.
“I was supposed to be yours?” I scoffed. The bastard had another think coming. “I’ll gut you, I promise.”
“You were promised to me. A sweet blonde. And how sweet you were. Too sweet. Of course, Father had to keep you for himself. But it’s all right. I’m here now. We can finally have the life we were meant to have. It’s okay that you left … if you accept me now.”
He was delusional, absolutely delusional. Sure, we’d always had a bond. We were drawn to one another because of what his father put us through, and yet here, now, he was talking as if we had a future.
We had no future. I was a killer. A woman who lusted for blood and made men pay for their sins. And he was the son of the Devil, the man who took me and made me this way. I should hate him. I should want to see him dead.
And yet … I didn’t.
What the hell is wrong with me?
Jacob shouldn’t have been able to affect me any longer. What we had was support and emotion triggered by immaturity and a need to survive a horrendous situation. It wasn’t real, and it was nothing we could find again. Even now, years later, I was drawn to him, despite his delusions. Despite telling myself there was nothing between us. While we may not have a future, our connection thrummed in the air. This couldn’t be right.
“What are you going to do with me?” Knowledge was power, and killers tended to like to brag.
“What should’ve been done from the start. I’m going to make you mine.”
“Don’t do this, Jacob. You saved me. You saved me. I’m alive because of you. You don’t want to do this to me.”
“I’ve always wanted to do this to you, sweet Alana. I’ve dreamt of this moment. I know you never meant to leave me behind. You were scared. I’ve been waiting for us to be together again. You told me, remember? That if I ever lost the girl, I had to find a way to take her back. I’m here now.”
I ran away back then. I ran and left Jacob behind to pay for our crime. I could’ve looked him up and found him before, but I didn’t. He wasn’t a part of my new life. I did what I could when I didn’t implicate him in my treatment. While Jacob may have played a starring role in my fantasies, I never wanted to go down that path again. My feet were firmly set on the path of darkness, and there was no time for love or relationships. Love was a nuisance. Not that it existed for monsters like me anyway.
“We were children, Jacob.”
“And I loved you, and you left me behind!”
I sucked in a breath, closing my eyes against the anger and pain in his gaze.
“You left me. Alone. I couldn’t find you. My girl, my Alana. The woman I learned to change for. We were together for over a year, we killed my father together. Did that mean nothing to you?”
“We can talk and spend time together. You don’t have to hold me prisoner.”
“I trusted you to come back, and you didn’t,” he whispered.
I couldn’t help but look at him, at the dip in his shoulders, the closed-off way he held himself. I’d hurt him, I could read it plainly on his flesh, the scarring I’d left behind. But he shook and changed, surety replacing confusion in his gaze, along with that cocky grin that took my breath away when we were kids spreading over his face.
“Can you feel it, Alana? Your soul calls to me like a whisper in the dark. We were made for it. We were made for each other.”
LeTeisha is all about deep angst and angry heroes who take a bit more loving to smooth their rough edges. Love comes in many sizes, shapes, and colors, as well as with—or without—absolute beauty and fairy tale sweetness. She writes the darker tales because life is hard … but love is harder.