by Claire C. Riley
Release Date: 30 March 2018
The perfect villain… or the perfect victim?
Growing up, Carrie was Ethan’s one true love, his fixation and his constant obsession. Friends to the bloody end, they were each other’s rocks whilst navigating through their dark and monstrous childhoods together. But then Carrie died and Ethan was almost destroyed by the secrets that were revealed in her wake.
It’s now fifteen years later and Carrie is back from the dead… and Ethan is forced to confront a truth he’s tried to deny himself for all these years.
With his obsession renewed, the situation rapidly spirals out of control as their story escalates towards a dark and startling conclusion. Because now Ethan has a singular focus;
Keep the girl, no matter the consequences.
The must-read book of 2018’
New York Times Bestselling Author
A. Meredith Walters
‘Riley is AT HER FINEST in this darkly compelling book!’
Speculative Fiction Author
‘INTENSE, DARK & INTRIGUING…’
I couldn’t put it down’
‘A FRESH VOICE & AN ADDICTIVE READ’
I never saw the twist coming’
I hear the shower shut off, and the bathroom door opens. I look up and see her shadow dancing across the landing. I take the first step up.
Just a peep, I think.
I take another step up. She’s singing to herself, a song I don’t know. This is better than the music downstairs. It’s soothing and less angry. Her voice calms me. I hear her footsteps moving around her bedroom. I hear her laugh and the click of something, and I’m so curious I can’t stop myself from taking another step upwards.
I smile along with her laugh, excited by the wonder that is Carrie. I wonder what new thing she is doing as I hear another click and I hear another giggle.
A giggle, not a laugh. A giggle. Like she’s a child again, before all the bad stuff happened, when she knew how to smile and laugh and have fun. Fun that wasn’t getting drunk or making me touch her. Innocent fun like playing in the dirt and chopping worms in half.
Did you know if you chop a worm in half—wait, I think I already told you that.
When I’m almost at the top of the stairs, my sneakers slip because they’re wet.
They make a squeak sound.
She stops giggling.
She comes to the doorway of her bedroom.
“Hello?” she says.
She’s naked, I see.
“Adam, is that you?” Her mouth pulls up into a smile, and she puts one hand on her hip.
Her body is beautiful.
I mean really fucking beautiful.
She’s a goddess in my eyes. Her hips are perfect, her breasts full grown. Her stomach is flat and toned and her skin is golden, not gray like the prostitute upstairs in my apartment building.
“Adam?” she says his name again. Not my name because she hasn’t seen me yet. But I can’t wait to hear her say my name. For the letters to spill from her beautiful, seductive mouth. She’ll call my name as I fuck her. As I brand her insides with my cock. She’ll scream Ethan over and over as we come together in a tangle of sweat and limbs.
But I should go now. This isn’t the way it should be. I know it’s her now, so I should go before she does see me. Yet I can’t. I can’t seem to look away. She’s Medusa. She’s an angel. She’s a witch and I’m under her spell.
And I can’t look away.
Carrie swallows and her eyes grow wary. She’s still naked, and wet. Water from her shower trails between her breasts and over her pert, pink nipples. Nipples I want to suck on and bite. The water trails down over her golden skin and pools into her belly button. It drips between her thighs, to the warm spot that I know is right there at the top.
I bet she tastes like candy, I think. Sweet and juicy.
I’m touching myself; my hand shoved down my pants as I slowly tug on my cock, and…No, no this is wrong. I can’t do that here, now. I need to go.
But I can’t move because she’ll see me.
I can’t go back.
No one can ever go back.
That’s what my counselor-slash-therapist-slash-Mr. Fucking Jeffrey-slash-know-it-all always says. You can’t go back, you can only go forward. What has been has been. Let the future be your beginning.
So I do.
I let the future be my beginning.
I take another step up, and I stop hiding in the shadows. This isn’t how it was supposed to go down, but I guess it doesn’t really matter. I guess all that matters is that we’re together now.
I smile as I stand. As I take another step upwards.
She doesn’t smile.
Her eyes grow wide. Her jaw opens and hangs there without words coming out. That’s not very attractive, I think, but don’t say. Because of course—manners.
Her hair is wet. It looks darker when it’s wet. Just like I remember. It hangs over her left shoulder, partially hiding one breast because her hair is so long.
Do you remember when your mom cut all your hair off? I want to say. But look at it now. Look how long and beautiful it is.
“Hi,” I say, nerves making my voice shake.
She swallows again. “How did you get in here?”
That’s quite rude, I think. She could at least say hi, but oh well, I guess I can understand her being a little surprised to see me after all this time. “Your window wasn’t locked,” I say. “You should lock it in future because it’s not safe. Anyone could have broken in.”
I smile again. My best smile. The one that my mom used to like. The one that normally makes women look at me differently. But Carrie doesn’t look impressed, and I know it’s because I don’t have her favorite flowers and I didn’t bring expensive wine, and of course because I’m soaked through and my hair doesn’t look nice.
“I’m sorry,” I say, hoping to appease her in some way.
© Claire C. Riley 2018
About the Author:
Claire C. Riley is a USA Today and International bestselling author. She is also a bestselling British horror writer and an Amazon top 100 bestseller.
Claire writes on the darker side of fiction, dipping her pen into genres such as post-apocalyptic, dystopia, thrillers, and even some horror. She writes characters that are realistic, and kills them without mercy.
She also writes under the pen name of Cee Cee Riley, where she writes in the MC romance and post-apocalyptic romance genres.
Claire lives in the United Kingdom with her husband and three daughters. She believes that cupcakes, rum and bathroom rap battles are the solution to most of life’s problems.
Claire is represented by Michelle Johnson of Inklings Literary Agency.
Odium The Dead Saga Series
Odium Origins Series
Limerence (The Obsession Series)
Out of the Dark Series,
Co-authored books with Madeline Sheehan:
Thicker than Blood,
Beneath Blood & Bone,
& Shut Up & Kiss me,
And by Cee Cee Riley:
The Ride or Die a Devil’s Highwaymen MC Novel Series