Page 29 of Hush Now Love

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“How could you do this?” I ask, my words shaking from pain and anger. I lift up the mask, jerking it in the air. “What is this?”

His frown dissolves into pure darkness and he rasps, “Where did you find that?”

I throw the mask on the floor and it slides over to his feet.

“In your bag!” I cry. “Did you bring it so that you could play with me some more? Play your sick, twisted games...!”

“Love,” he interrupts sharply. He throws a quick look around the house and I blurt,

“I’m not in the witness protection program am I?” The look in his eyes tells me I’m right and my lips quiver in fear.

“I brought you here to protect you,” he replies and I wipe off more tears.

“Don’t lie! You brought me here because you wanted to screw me before you hurt me!” I scream.

He shakes his head. “I want you to come over to me and I need you to stay very close.” When I don’t move, he carefully nods at me. “Go ahead. Do it now.”

I promised him once that I would stay close but that was when I trusted him. I don’t trust him anymore. I’m going to escape. I won’t let him hurt me ever again.

As if he knows what I am thinking, Callan shoves on his boots, reaching for his worn coat and he rasps, “Do not try to...” he begins but I don’t stay to hear the rest, darting for the backdoor and behind me he roars,


His voice is full of fury, tinted with panic and it’s the panic a lover would have. But I know now that he’s not a lover. He’s a killer.



A red rage erupts in me, tripling when Melody runs away from me and Igrab my gun before chasing after her. He’s here. Romeo. He must’ve somehow followed us here, walked into the house and placed that mask in my bag.

Bursting out of the backdoor, I race into the woods because there’s no other way where she could have gone. There’s a high fence on the sides to block out the neighbors and it gets smaller in the middle.

Small enough to jump across which is what Melody must have done and I look left and right, my heart pounding so hard that it feels like it’s going to blow from my chest. She’s going to get hurt. She’s going to get hurt because she didn’t stay close to me.

Stupid kid!!

I should have been more cautious, should have locked her up in a room like I threatened. She was my responsibility, mine to keep safe and I wonder what the hell happened that made her rush upstairs the way she did?

And why the fuck didn’t she trust me when I told her I had nothing to do with it and I want to find her, grab her then shake her for doubting that I never want to cause her harm. It hurts me that she would think that, cutting me deeper than a knife ever could.

“Melody!!!” I roar again, twisting around and the trees ruffle worryingly in the wind. Where the fuck is she? Where the fuck did she go? There was no time to bring a flashlight but the sheen from the stars is of some help and I look down, searching for footsteps.

“Melody!” I yell. “I am not him! I am not going to harm you. You need to come to me, do you hear me?”

There is no answer and I curse, stabbing my fingers through my hair but then I see them. Her footsteps that seem to lead straight forward, then go to the right. She must have gone at some speed and I run after her, keeping my hand on the trigger and I’m prepared to shoot anything and anyone that moves.

Anyone who’s not small and has long hair.

How the hell could he have found us? It does not making any fucking sense. Nobody followed us on our way. I took every preventive measure, measures that would have been unnecessary in many officers’ eyes but I wanted to be sure. I wanted her to be safe.

But now she is anything but safe. Now she is out there all on her own, defenseless in a dark, freezing woods with a killer on the loose. A killer that wants her. A killer that wants what is mine and I am going to skin that motherfucker alive and then wear his skin as my new coat.

“Melody!” I roar, scanning for her when her steps stop and it’s likely that she jumped into the bushes. Turning around in circles, I look for her when my phone vibrates in my pocket and I put it to my ear, foolishly hoping its Melody when a rampant voice rasps,

“You deserve this, Byrne. You had it coming.”


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