"This book will pull you in and keep you on the edge of your seat until the very end...or non-end. [...] This book is overwhelming in the best way! I can’t wait for the next chapter in the Stateless series! Coming later this year!! Well played Ms Raine! Well played!" Stephanie, Goodreads
Published: January 15th, 2019
This isn't how my life is supposed to end.
Then again, a case of mistaken identity got me here. No one is ever who we think they are. Especially my kidnapper, a man whose entire life is designed to deceive.
Powerful people want my rescuer to die. I'm just a lure. A pawn. An object.
But objects hold meaning. Emotions attach themselves without logic.
I now know that Duff will do everything to protect me.
If he gets here in time. And if I can hold on long enough.
Because my body can only handle so much. Pushed to the limits, it's finally giving out. Giving way.
I know Duff, though.
He never will.
Being locked in a room with a dead body is not on my bucket list.
Being locked in a room with a faceless corpse, the dim light making his exposed, bloody skull bones gleam like rubies, is definitely not on my wish list.
The scream that wants to come out turns inward, helplessness stopping it somewhere in my chest, comforted by my heart, which only wants it to go quiet. Screaming won't fix this. I can't find an escape by making noise.
I look down at the dead man.
Who is very, very real.
I move gently on the chaise, taking the deepest breath I can, holding it for too long. Suspending myself in time and space feels like the only out. I can't actually leave. Second best is closing off my air supply, shutting my eyelids, not moving. Freezing in place gives me an illusion to grasp, the fleeting seconds important.
My hand slides under a throw pillow. The cool haven of hidden fabric makes me shiver.
A black spider, all too familiar, comes off the pillow my hand is under.
That makes me shiver even more.
I jump up, shocked by the intrusion of another living being.
The door calls out to me.
The spider crawls down one leg of the chaise, then makes its way dispassionately along the tip of the dead guy's shoe.
In order to get to the door, I have to go around the dead body. In order to move, I have to feel the sensation of his blood on my skin. When I bend my arm, the dried blood on my shoulders and neck crackles. It puckers, like child's glue spread over skin and allowed to dry for fun. For amusement.
This is anything but amusing
About the author:
Meli Raine writes romantic suspense with hot bikers, intense undercover DEA agents, bad boys turned good, and Special Ops heroes — and the women who love them. Meli rode her first motorcycle when she was five years old, but she played in the ocean long before that. She lives in New England with her family.
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