Secrets and Scars: A Gripping Psychological Thriller (Fatal Hearts Series Book 3)

Secrets and Scars: A Gripping Psychological Thriller (Fatal Hearts Series Book 3) by Dori Lavelle

Book: Secrets and Scars: A Gripping Psychological Thriller (Fatal Hearts Series Book 3) by Dori Lavelle Read Free Book Online
Authors: Dori Lavelle
With one hand, I held on to the piece of fragile fabric, hanging on to what was left of my dignity.
    A sad smile formed on my lips as I imagined seeing myself from the outside, the way the world would see me in a couple of hours. I saw myself on the covers of magazines and newspapers. In my mind’s eye, I read the articles.
    Chloe Parker, owner of the magazine Sage , has found a tragic end. Her naked body was discovered in the jungles of Jamaica, where she had apparently been tortured, raped, and then murdered by Miles Durant, the man she had recently married.
    Why did I even care what people would think? I would be dead. But those closest to me would get the heat. My mother would be devastated, and my friends would be ashamed to hear about the terrible decisions that had derailed my life. Maybe they would pretend they didn’t know me, turn their backs on the memories we’d shared.
    My foot hit something hard and sharp. Another wound inflicted. My pain was white and red. White like my wedding dress, a stark reminder of what I had lost, a promise of the forever that had expired.
    But there would be no roses, no throwing of the bouquet, no champagne. Only red. The red of my approaching death—dark, frightening, and final.
    Red and white, two sides of the same coin of life. Two sides of the same fence. Good and evil, beauty and ugliness. Darkness and light. That was all I had left. I could focus on the light and turn my back on everything else. But that would be a dangerous game to play; once shattered, it could have devastating consequences. Perhaps it was best to turn my back to the light, to welcome the darkness that called for me. That way, I would be ready for the agony that would mark the end of my life.
    The thoughts that swirled around my mind came to a halt again when Alvin stopped walking and dropped me to the ground.
    I closed my eyes quickly, feeling his eyes on me. Then I heard him turn away, followed by the sound of flowing water. Curiosity forced me to open my eyes a fraction. Alvin was turned away from me as he urinated in the bushes.
    I turned my head to the other side of the dirt trail. I considered getting to my feet and running for my life, but at that moment, I detected a movement in the brush. A scream froze inside my throat when I saw them—three snakes, a few inches apart from each other.
    One of them looked exactly like the snake Owen and I had seen, while the other two were smaller and reddish in color. I had even more reason to stay still now. If I moved or made a sound, the snakes might strike.
    My whole body tightened except for my hands, which were trembling, the burlap sack falling from my grip to the ground. My pulse shot up when one of the reddish snakes uncoiled itself and slithered in my direction. The other two disappeared into the darkness of the bushes. As fear and panic raged through me, I grappled for air.
    In a moment, maybe Alvin would get what he wanted, though not in the way he had planned. Would it be better to die from a snake bite than to be tortured and killed by Alvin?
    Through the rushing in my ears, I heard Alvin zip up his pants and buckle his belt.
    Then the snake suddenly disappeared from my sight, as though it had slid underneath me. It took me a moment to realize it had disappeared inside the sack.
    Ingrid’s words came to me. She had told me that something good could come out of a bad situation. Shoving my way past my fear of reptiles, I saw my something good. This was an opportunity. Before I could think, before fear could paralyze me again, I gripped the bag and drew the strings closed.
    As Alvin grabbed my hair again and resumed hauling me along, I held tight to the bag, holding it as far away from my body as I possibly could. I focused on the moment when I would unleash the snake on Alvin.
    I would be killing Miles as well, but there was no way to separate the two. In order to save myself, I would have no choice but to kill them both.


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