Taunted Souls: A Friends to Lovers Romance
For the past five years, Lucas Akins has been in love with his best friend Shayna Davies. Anyone with eyes could see, even Shayna. Yet she’s been fighting off her own feelings too!
As they attempt to continue a life together as just friends, the universe steps in and forces them to own up to their feelings.
But life is never that easy.
Bad choices and dark secrets filter into their lives to shatter the only real happiness either has ever known. And they are forced into circumstances neither is prepared to take on, though they must; otherwise, love might be lost. Forever…
Shots fired. I dropped to the ground as a shower of the worst kind poured around me. Gunshots! The men that had been guarding me took off. After several rounds of machine gun bullets and maybe ten seconds of deathly quiet, I got enough courage to get up on my knees.
My bag was on the floor of the vehicle. I slowly pulled it out, unable to see much else. As I made slow movements, the beating of my heart pulsed through my eardrums. Remaining low, I shifted and nearly fell over a body. Blood tainted my hands as I clambered to get up and keep moving.
I gasped but nearly tripped over another. Only then did the stench of death hit me. I crept low, away from the truck. Not once did I think to look back. I could’ve been seconds away from death but didn’t care. I only wanted to get away.
When I reached the sidewalk, I paused for a few deep breaths. The tears had finally stopped flowing. I felt optimistic about survival.
“Taylor . . .” It was Van. He limped toward me, his clothes torn and soiled.
“You’re okay?” I jumped up and into his arms. Pulling back just enough, I searched for bullets or blood. I thought he signified safety. I cried. A gush of tears rushed down my face, some soaked up whatever part of his body I was leaning up against. And for the first time since meeting him, I considered having him take me all the way home.
“Can’t nothing or no one take me out,” he swore. Rubbing his thumb on my chin, he asked if I was all right.
I parted my lips to reply. My throat was dry. I took a few seconds to think on my answer because even though I hadn’t gotten hurt, my mind was totally fried. I was still scared and shaking and ready to end living, just so I wouldn’t have to go through anything like this ever again.
“Did you think it would be that easy?” a female voice kinda whistled at us. In slow motion, I turned my head to the voice and zoomed in. She was dressed in black, with strands of blonde hair streaming through a cap. It was pulled low enough that you couldn’t quite make out all of her features, but it was obvious that she was gorgeous.
“Who the hell are you?” Van asked. His arm snaked around my waist as he yanked me into his groin. I could’ve thrown up right there, but I swallowed hard and forced back down the vomit.
“No time for that. I need you to take a walk with me.”
Van laughed kind of shaky.
“It’ll be even funnier when this place starts swarming with police and you’re forced to explain these dead bodies,” she threw out.
I’d forgotten Van had a gun until he pulled it out and pointed directly at her. As much as I was scared out of my mind, I couldn’t help but mentally trace the sleek design. I was inches away from something that could end a life. Silent alarms sounded in my mind. I squirmed around, but his grip grew tighter.
“What’s this, Van?” I mumbled, turning my head just enough until I was able to see him from the corner of my eyes. “You’re squeezing the hell out of me.”
“Don’t move.” He yanked me closer into him. “Stay quiet.”
My tear ducts burned as I searched out some kind of hint from the stranger. I didn’t know if she was a friend or enemy. Right now, Van had me feeling like he was nothing but an evil and twisted bastard for doing me this way.
Interview with author Janice Ross
Janice Ross was born in Guyana, South America and migrated to the USA in 1980. Although her citizenship certificate now reads the United States of America, she considers herself a citizen of the world. Sure she has not physically been around the world and back, but she’s travelled in her mind and dreams.
Janice enjoys Zumba, Kickboxing, and most exercise classes. When she’s not pushing her physical limits, Janice spends time working on her craft, as well as lending a hand to other aspiring writers.
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