Niki woke up in the hospital with no clue how she got there, other than she was told she had had a car accident. If that wasn’t strange enough, she overheard her nurses say that it sounded like she mumbled the name Keith while she was unconscious. But, she didn’t know anyone by that name, did she? For the next ten months, she is tortured by a recurring nightmare about a demon-like creature and a guy she’s never met. After a terrible breakup and with only a month left until her high school graduation, her aunt Claire kicks her out. Niki purchases an old house that she feels drawn to with the small inheritance her parents left her when they died. Niki will discover terrifying secrets about the house, but stays when she begins to learn answers to the questions that surround her past, her accident, and Keith.
Read an excerpt:
I was almost to the end of the narrow hallway when someone grabbed my arm. The touch startled me, but I was even more jolted when I turned and saw Mike.
When I realized it was him, I immediately averted my gaze. I refused to look him in the eyes ever again. Even in the dim light, though, I could see how gorgeous he was. Part of me wanted to grab hold of his tie and pull him to me, but a larger part of me wanted to hang him by a rafter with it and watch him swing, maybe give him a few good whacks with a pool cue, like a piñata.
“Please…Niki.” He had a catch in his voice. “Can’t you at least look at me?”
I tried to pull my arm from his grip.
“We haven’t spoken one word to each other.” He took a deep breath. “I’m…sorry.”
All I could think was Yes, you are! I couldn’t look at him—how could he think I would speak to him?
“I almost forgot how beautiful you are. What was I thinking?” he whined.
Was he for real? I snorted with disgust and tried to pull my arm away again. This time he resisted with more force.
“Come on, Niki—at least give me a chance!”
“What’s going on?” It was Evan. He towered over Mike. “Niki, is everything okay?”
I wasn’t sure how to answer him. I made another attempt to free my arm from Mike, and he yanked me toward him.
“Why don’t you mind your own business?” Mike growled at Evan.
Oh no! I could tell Evan wasn’t going to back down. He didn’t look like the kind of guy who needed an excuse to pound someone’s skull in either.
Mike released my arm and swung his fist at Evan. I pushed myself up against the wall. All of a sudden a bright light began flashing and a fire alarm screeched at an ear-piercing decibel. A hand slid around my mouth and clamped down tightly so I couldn’t scream. I was in shock and confused.
I was dragged out of the back door so quickly I didn’t know how it was even possible. It was now dark outside, which made me feel even more afraid. My captor continued to hold me from behind. His body was pressed tightly against mine.
“Don’t scream,” he whispered, “and I’ll take my hand down.”
When he removed his hand, I took a deep breath. I was still scared, but less so then a few seconds ago. I realized he still had his arms wrapped around me. I guess even though he trusted me not to scream, he didn’t trust me not to run.
He rested his face heavily on the top of my head. He took several slow, deep breaths, as if he was inhaling my scent. Before speaking, he moved his mouth down the side of my head; his lips stopped next to my ear. I shivered as he quietly said, “Go…home.” With those two little words, I wasn’t afraid of him anymore. He squeezed me tightly and then released me. I spun around, and he was gone.
How? I looked everywhere. I couldn’t spot him. I should have been relieved. I wasn’t. I was…disappointed.
Laurel Veil is a new and upcoming author with over five new books released just this year. And, her latest, Strong Like Me was just released this summer.
She is a mom and former middle school teacher. She enjoys spending time with her family, likes reading for fun and loves writing when she gets the chance!
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