Number of pages:198
Word Count: 61,448
Cover Artist: J.A. Howell
Purchase Link: Amazon
Synopsis: One year ago, two bullets from a .45 caliber pistol ripped away any hopes Dillan had of a future with her fiancé, Jamie.
On the anniversary of Jamie’s death, the appearance of his estranged twin brother, Trey, leaves Dillan wondering what other secrets her perfect fiancé was hiding. When Trey learns of his brother’s death, Dillan takes pity on him and gives him a place to stay.
Trey’s erratic behavior and a series of suspicious phone calls lead Dillan to believe that Trey knows more about the circumstances surrounding Jamie's death than he’s letting on. With all leads exhausted and Jamie’s murderer still on the loose, Trey is Dillan’s last hope for finding the truth.
Sometimes the truth hurts... but in Dillan's case it could kill her.
The duct work running the length of the living room ceiling came into view as Trey opened his eyes. He was greeted by the early morning sunlight that shined through the windows. The harsh brightness caused a sharp pain like a needle being stabbed into his forehead. He then became aware of the soft weight laying on his chest, the mass of auburn hair that gently tickled his neck. A warm, spicy scent of ginger and vanilla emanated from Dillan as she slept, cuddling against him.
The room was relatively quiet except for her soft, slow breathing as she lay against him. Trey remained perfectly still, leaning his back against one of the soft plush cushions on the sofa. One of his arms was curled around Dillan, his hand resting right below her shoulder blades; the other was stiffly lying at his side. As pleasant as it was to wake up with someone as lovely as Dillan in his arms, he knew just how awkward this situation could be if she were to wake up.
He looked around the room, still cluttered with remnants from the previous night, their empty bowls still sitting on the coffee table along with several empty beer bottles.
Did we really drank that much? Yeah, the sharp pain above his eyes confirmed it. He looked back down at Dillan, her features were smoothed and relaxed, and every few seconds her eyelids twitched slightly as she dreamed. She turned her head, nuzzling against his chest, a few tendrils of hair falling over her face. This was growing more uncomfortable by the minute.
Moving slowly and fluidly, afraid of waking Dillan, Trey slid out from under her slumbering figure, then gently lifted her head as he quietly placed both of his own feet on the floor. Pulling her body against his chest, he slid one arm around Dillan’s back, as he carefully slid the other beneath her knees before lifting her off the couch. He studied her, making sure she had not been awakened from the movement. She was still asleep, angelic features still peaceful. Phew. He crossed the living room, carrying her through the dim hallway toward the last door on the left. The door was already slightly open, and he could see the edge of her bed through the gap.
With his shoulder, he pushed the door open further, hesitating slightly as he walked inside. A picture of her and Jamie stared up at him from the nightstand, watching him as he shuffled across the room. As he reached the side of her bed, Dillan's mouth brushed against his neck. Her breath tickled his skin, causing a visible shiver to run down his body. He lowered her to the bed and gently laid her limp form against the pristine white bedspread, taking care as he placed her head on the pillow. Standing back up, Trey watched her for a moment as she rolled onto her side.
“Goodnight Dillan.” He softly whispered before turning back toward the door.
“I love you too, Jamie.” The mumbled reply came from her as she slept. Her words hit his gut like a battering ram. He looked back, seeing her lying there next to the empty spot on her bed. The extra pillow that sat there, untouched. He quickly left the room, pulling the door shut behind him. He felt like a trespasser; he had stepped into someone else's life for a brief second, overwhelmed with feelings and thoughts that weren't allowed to be his. He shook his head, as if it would help shake away the unnerving feelings that rushed over him. The only thing it accomplished was making his headache worse.
Walking past the clock above her entertainment center, Trey saw it was barely 6 AM, but he couldn't go back to sleep. He was afraid of what he would see if he did. Numerous horrors already haunted him while he was awake; they would surely multiply as he dreamed.
J.A Howell is an office drone by day, and a writer by night. Her love of writing took off when she was eleven years old and decided to fill a composition notebook with stories to read to her friends. Many years (and notebooks) later, not much has changed. She still loves writing and sharing her works with others. When she isn’t writing, she can often be found trying her hand at whatever artistic pursuit strikes her fancy. J.A. Howell resides in Apopka, FL with her husband and their menagerie of animal children.
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