Authors: K.C. Lynn
Tags: #Fiction, #Romance
Acts of Honor Series Book 3
Published by K.C. Lynn
An Act of Obsession
Copyright © 2016 K.C. LYNN
First Edition: 2016
Editing: Wild Rose Editing
Formatting: BB eBooks
Cover Art by: Cover to Cover Designs
Cover Image by: Perrywinkle Photography
Without limiting the rights under copyright reserved above, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form, or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise) without the prior written permission of the author of this book.
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, brands, media, and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. The author acknowledges the trademarked status and trademark owners of various products referenced in this work of fiction, which have been used without permission. The publication and use of these trademarks is not authorized, associated with, or sponsored by the trademark owners.
Warning: Due to mature subject matter, such as explicit sexual situations and coarse language, this story is not suitable for anyone under the age of 18.
This book is dedicated to my person—my hooch! Keshia, you inspire me every day. Because of you, I’ve not only grown as a person but also as a writer. You taught me that my words shine because they come from my heart. You taught me that simple is beautiful.
You taught me to believe in myself.
Thank you for loving me, believing in me, and for being one of the bestest friends I’ve ever had.
Kolan and Sophie are for you.
know, Mom, I miss you, too. I’ll see you guys in a few weeks for Thanksgiving. Give Dad and Tess a kiss for me… Okay, bye.”
Hanging up, I climb the stairs to my campus apartment with my bag slung over my shoulder, my legs feeling like jelly from tonight’s rehearsal. But it doesn’t weaken the smile on my face. It’s the same one I always have when I get to do what I love with my whole heart and soul…dance.
The one thing I was born to do.
I think I was the only one who was sad about rehearsal ending early tonight. I would dance every second of every day if I could.
“Hey, Sophie,” Kendra Morrison greets me as she walks out of her apartment, looking like a walking bombshell.
“Hey, Kendra. You look great. Heading out?”
“Yeah. Everyone is over at Kappa Pi, of course I had to work late, but no way am I missing this. Sounds like it’s a big one. You should come once you’re done with lover boy.”
She smiles. “I saw Blaine a little while ago. I believe he’s waiting for you in your dorm,” she tells me, wiggling her eyebrows.
That brings a smile to my face and a flush to my cheeks.
I didn’t even tell him I’d be getting back early.
“Thanks. Maybe we will.”
I hurry my steps, feeling a small sliver of anticipation flow through me. The last thing I had planned when coming to college was meeting a boy. My focus was solely on dance and getting a new start from the disaster I left back home. But Blaine somehow pushed his way past my defenses. We haven’t been dating long but I like him—a lot. Lara, my roommate turned best friend, says all the time how lucky I am to have snagged the college campus heartthrob. She’s right, I am, and the more time I spend with Blaine, the more I think we could have something long-term. I think I’m ready to take the next step with him in our relationship. He’s been so patient with me. I can’t wait to ask him to come home with me for Thanksgiving to meet my family.
Entering my apartment, I frown when the entire place is encompassed in darkness. When I flip the light switch and nothing happens, I still, alarm bells immediately ringing inside of me.
In the midst of silence it suddenly hits me. Like a ton of bricks—a forceful impact to the stomach. It’s as if I can feel his leering eyes on me, eyes I haven’t had to feel in exactly eighteen months and four days, but ones I’ll never mistake.
It can’t be.
My heart pounds like a drum, my entire body breaking out in a cold sweat as fear takes hold of me.
Stay calm, Sophie. Don’t overreact.
“Blaine?” I call out again shakily. “Lara? Are you guys here?”
A sound comes from Lara’s room down the hall. Dropping my bag at the door, I walk across our small living room, my cell phone clutched firmly in hand. I dial 9-1-1, leaving it on the screen just in case, then flip it over and use the flashlight to guide my way.
Another thump comes from her room as I approach. “If this is a joke, you guys, it’s not funny.”
The door is left open a crack. With my heart thundering in my ears and legs quaking, I push it open then shine the flashlight in. What I see has bile rising in my throat and pure terror thrashing through my veins.
Blaine and Lara in her bed, naked. But I can’t even fathom the betrayal because of the blood surrounding them—their eyes lifeless.
A scream of horror bubbles up my throat and explodes past my lips, piercing the air around me. When a figure emerges from the shadows, I turn and run, already knowing who it is.
The feel of his dark presence is something I’ll never forget.
Just as I hit send on my cell phone, his brutal force slams into me from behind, taking me to the ground. A scream rips from me just before I land painfully on my stomach and take out the glass coffee table, the jarring impact knocking the air from my lungs. Not only do I struggle for each breath, but I also try to free myself from the crushing weight on top of me as shards of glass nick my face.
Blood pools in my mouth, the metallic taste making my stomach rebel. I reach out for the phone that lies a foot away from me as I hear the 9-1-1 operator call out. I whimper for help, my voice barely above a whisper.
“Not so fast, my love.”
Repulsion fills me at the soft voice that sounds so sincere yet is nothing but sinister.
What’s he doing out?
Before I have time to think about it, he flips me over to my back and straddles me. He pins my struggling arms over my head and leers at me, his bright blue eyes as wild and crazy as I remember.
“Surprise!” He chuckles, a malicious smile tilting his lips. “Miss me?”
I shake my head, still struggling for breath.
His expression hardens, a wild rage igniting in his eyes. He grips my jaw brutally, drawing a painful cry from me. “Well, I missed you. I thought about you every second that I was kept away from you.” He leans in closer, running his nose along my cheek. “Did you think I wouldn’t find you, Sophie? I’ll always find you. You can never hide from me. You—belong—to—me.”
A sound of disgust crawls up my throat, mixing with a fearful sob. “Daniel, stop, please,” I plead, even though it’s no use.
“Do you have any idea what it’s done to me to know you gave yourself to someone else?”
His craziness has a frustrated sob erupting from me as he talks about Blaine.
Blaine—who is dead.
Blaine—who was sleeping with my best friend.
I still can’t grasp the betrayal.
“It didn’t have to be like this,” he whispers. “We were supposed to be forever. How could you be with someone who’s fucking your friend when I’m here to give you everything you’ve ever dreamed of? Us, Sophie, it was always meant to be us.”
“There is no us,” I cry out helplessly. “There never has been, Daniel. Why can’t you fucking understand that?” I’m screaming now, my fear turning to angry desperation.
“You lying bitch.” Fury flashes in his eyes before he backhands me; the painful blow sending black spots to dance in my vision. His fingers grip my jaw again with a strength that I’m sure is about to shatter it. “You told me you loved me.”
I shake my head, crying. His delusion is something I’ve never understood.
“Yes, you did!” he screams. “I’m not letting you change your mind, Sophie. If I can’t have you, no one else will.”
My panic escalates to a whole new level. “What are you saying?” Horror washes over me when he pulls a large knife from behind him, covered in blood. “Daniel, no. Please, you don’t want to do this.”
His eyes darken with guilt, mixing with the unshed tears. “I’m so sorry but you’ve left me no choice,” he chokes out, dragging the knife across my chest.
“God no, please.” I fight with everything I have but it’s pointless. He’s too strong. Someone who always seemed so weak fooled everyone, especially me.
I plead again, praying to get through to him.
It has him crying harder, as if this physically pains him. “I’ll love you forever. You will always be mine, my love.”
Desperation pulses through me as he brings the knife to my throat. “Daniel, sto—” My scream vanishes with the first slice. Fire erupts through my jugular, a scorching pain I didn’t even know was possible spreads through me like wildfire.
I gasp for breath, my hands getting nicked by the sharp blade as I claw at my throat. The air I crave stings the open wound, doing the opposite of what I need.
Daniel is relentless with every slice, never giving up, sobbing as he steals my last breath. After everything I made it through, it never mattered. He kept his promise.
I would die as his.
My mom, dad, and sister flash through my mind, adding to the searing agony tearing through me. The last things I hear before darkness consumes me are his undying love for me and the distant sound of sirens.
Sirens that are too late.
Some say miracles happen every day and apparently I was one of them. I had woken up in the hospital to find out I survived the unthinkable, the most brutal attack my campus had ever seen. Though not without damage.
Where I should have had hope at life again, I had none, because he was still out there, waiting to strike again. I knew he would kill anyone who got in his way, including my family. So I did what I had to do in order to protect the people I love.
I left behind my family, my dreams, and my identity. I was no longer Sophie Parish, the girl who loved life and had a dream to dance forever. I’m now Lia Kay—scarred beyond repair and fearful everything.
The girl who constantly looks over her shoulder, knowing the time will come that he’ll finish what he started and I will die as his.
Fifteen months later
ey, Lia?” I spin around to see Sheriff McKay with his head poking out of his office. “Sorry, I didn’t mean to startle you.”