Monday, January 23, 2017

Suspense for the Romantic Heart - Jaded Promises Excerpt


Eric Stiles has everything to lose and no matter how hard he fights he can feel his life slipping away.

Rebecca Gailen thinks that the love of her life is dead and only the vigor of revenge keeps her fighting to survive.

When a secret reveals more than anyone expected, it changes Eric and Rebecca’s lives forever. The devastating truth puts the couple at odds. Can they overcome their clashing conclusions and learn to trust each other again? Or will they let it rip them apart?

Excerpt
The stairs creaked with each step as he looked into the dimness below. The humid musty area was cold and damp. He swallowed hard. Gray concrete, jagged walls and dust surrounded them and a chill raked up his spine.

"We found it over there." The same officer descended the stairs behind them. The beam of his flashlight landed to the right of where they stood. Eric reached for a flashlight, and his eyes landed on Charlie who scanned the room. An officer offered his and Eric stepped toward the area. His hand brushed against the cold concrete but his mind still refused to accept it.

Not here…not like this…

Eric’s eyes fell on a spatter of blood and his chest flooded with an unrecognized pain.

She was here

Unable to push the image away, all the air left the room as his entire body clenched at the suffocation. He ascended the stairs into the sunlight, fighting for control. He began to unhinge, mindlessly entered one of the side rooms.

They didn't find her which means she's still…

Keep it together Stiles…falling apart isn't going to help anyone

The sewn seam around his emotions threatened to tear, and he couldn't move. The paralyzing agony that spiked from the core of his body was relentless. He fought back in vain. He knew it wouldn't stop until she was in his arms, safe.

"Eric, what’s going on?"

Eric wiped an unexpected wetness from his eyes. He leaned against the wall to face his brother. Pure disbelief stared back at him. 

"I've never seen you like this."

"Yeah?"

"Yeah, you never…"

"Yeah well, things change." Eric moved to exit the room.

He found the front door and pushed through it hearing Charlie just behind him.

"Since when?"

"You still don't get it do you?"

"What are you talking about?"

"Have you really convinced yourself that all of this…what happened, was just some kind of joke?” He stopped to face him. “That Rebecca and I didn’t mean anything we said when we told you that we never wanted to hurt you?" 

"I don't know what the hell you meant to do and to be honest, I don’t really care."

"Charlie…whether or not you choose to believe it, we did try to walk away.” Charlie’s eyes diverted in anger. "Jesus, Charlie she went through hell and all she could think about was how she couldn't hurt you!" 

"So once again this is my fault!"

"No…I am just…" Eric’s chest turned to stone, unwilling to allow him to hide. "As your brother, your friend, I tried to forget about…everything. But that night. That first night in Dallas, everything changed. We did everything we could to ignore it, make disappear but it didn't. It only got stronger…can you try to understand that?"

"You really expect me to…"

"I expect you to believe that I tried! I expect you to realize that this had nothing to do with you. To remember that until that moment, I've never betrayed you."

"So because you’ve always tried to be the good big brother you want me to be okay with this? To just accept what you did and move on?"

"Yes."

'Why?"

"Because you’re my brother and I need you to." Eric’s watering despite his continued battle against it. "Charlie, I'm in love with her."

"I loved her too!"

"Okay Charlie,” Eric clenched his jaw. “Where did you see things heading with her? Let's say we never met, what then?"

"I don't know. I never got the chance thanks to you!"

"That’s the difference!" Eric’s fists balled in frustration. "Six weeks ago, and the two months before that, hell even in Dallas. I knew this was different. I knew she changed everything. Even when she left without a word and I didn’t even know her name, I couldn’t get her out of my head! I look at her and see everything I never knew I wanted. She's woken up this person inside me that I didn’t even know was there! The one who wants a house and a family. The person who needs to see her every morning and hold her every night, because when I don't something is missing and the world doesn't make sense. "

"Eric…"

"The difference is that the moment I met her, she became my whole world," Eric explained as he struggled to keep his furious heart under control. "I know that you loved her. That was one of the reason's I stayed away as long as I did. It might not seem like much but…she needed me and I couldn’t turn my back anymore. Now she's gone and I can't…If we don't…if I can't find her..."

"We're going to find her, Eric.” He saw the first glimpse of understanding in his brothers eyes.


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