Hey, y’all! Sorry about no post last week. Time ran away from me and I forgot what day it was until it was too late. That being said, look what’s live! Book 4 of my Step into Darkness series is now available in eBook and paperback! Grab your copy here.
Here’s an excerpt:
9:00 p.m. McMicken, Ohio
Eric pockets his keys, his feet on fire from his second shift at the diner, and heads for Justine’s apartment building. This is going to be a ton of fun when I start classes. The memory of the way pills can alleviate the effects of a sleepless night flashes through his mind, and he pushes it away. Not ever again. You made a promise, and you’re keeping it.
At her door, he pauses and cards his fingers through his hair before he wipes a sweat slicked palm on his jeans. When he knocks, it takes a moment for Arika to answer.
“I’m headed out. Your man is here,” she says over her shoulder. She pats him on the back as she passes. “She’s been salty with a capital s.”
He swallows when the door clicks shut behind him, and Justine appears from her room. She twists the ring on her finger and bites her lip, tipping her chin toward the couch.
When they sit, neither of them speaks, and he aches to pull her into his arms. He leans forward and laces his fingers. “I’m sorry I got angry, but I won’t apologize for what I said.” When she stiffens, he pauses, but she doesn’t say anything. “This sucks. I don’t want to be this guy. This jerk who hides things from his fiancé and forces their life to go the way he thinks it should. I felt backed into a corner. Everything you do is for Arthur and that’s amazing, but someone has to take care of you too.” When she opens her mouth, he raises both his palms in surrender. “You thought Dirk was here because of a dream. The subconscious can do things and sometimes our brains process stuff while we sleep, if what’s happened has taught us both anything, it’s this; but to put your life at risk from what you saw, and you can’t even be sure it was real? No matter the reason, stress, lack of sleep, whatever, it’s not okay. We’re not okay.” He swallows the lump in his throat, years of being blocked out forms one heavy boulder on his back. She shifts on the couch and slips off her engagement ring. “What?”
Tears gather on her lashes and she blinks them away. “You’re right. We’re not healthy right now.”
Acid laps at the back of his tongue. “And you won’t even try to fix it? What, seven years together and you’ll throw it away instead of letting me in?”
Her lip trembles while she holds the ring out to him.
“Do you want us to be through?”
He gulps, his eyes on fire. No. “I’m not the one who took the ring off your finger.”
“I don’t know what else to do!” She leaps to her feet. Her tears stream freely while color floods her cheeks. Her breath hitches, and she braces herself on her knees with one palm, fishing into her pocket with the other to pull out a carrot colored prescription bottle.
When she gulps one of the tiny white pills, his own tears join hers. When he reaches for her, she backs away and drops the ring on the TV stand. “We both—need time.” She hiccups through her tears. “The school is small. I’m sure we’ll see each other.” With that, she disappears into her room and shuts the door
The silence is a heavy weight as it falls. It blankets him, each nerve in his body numb when he drags himself to the TV stand and picks up the ring.