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He shrugged. “I don’t know. I was thinking of making some coffee and relaxing, but maybe there’s some other way I can pass the time. I can send a little message to Alex about screwing with his boss. You know, he screws his boss, I screw his girl.”

My heart skipped a beat. My blood ran cold when I realized what he meant, what he wanted to do.

“I’ll take good care of you.”

He pounced, moving surprisingly quickly for a man his size. I’d finally come to my senses, just in time to move out of the way as he attempted to grab me. I scrambled to my feet as he hit the side of the couch.

“Quit being difficult!” he said, pushing himself back up to his feet. “Trust me, I know what women like.”

I turned and ran into the kitchen, tears forming in my eyes while my heart raced. Once there, I scanned the room for anything I could use to defend myself, settling on the knife block.

“Don’t you even think about it.”

I pulled the biggest knife out of the block and turned just in time to see Johnny approaching, his fist in mid-swing. He connected with my head, the pain like a small explosion inside my skull. The knife fell from my hand with a clatter, and I dropped onto my behind.

The girls started screaming in the other room, the world spinning around me. All I cared about was protecting them, making sure they were safe. As Johnny loomed over me, however, my head blasting with pain, I found myself unable to think of a next move.

He bent down, picking up the knife. Once it was in his hand, he placed the tip of the blade against my cheek.

“I normally like having my hands free when I have my fun with the ladies,” he said. “But if I’ve got to use this to keep you in line, then so be it.”

The girls kept on screaming. As I listened to their cries, I found a strength inside of me that I didn’t know I had. Anger and determination unlike any I’d known before took over.

“Now, you want to do this the easy way? Or the hard way?”

“The hard way.”

I pulled my fist back and slammed it hard into Johnny’s crotch, connecting with that one area where no man wanted to be punched. I twisted my fist, giving him an extra dose of pain as he dropped to his knees, his face red.

“You… youbitch!”

I rose to my feet, and slammed into him hard, knocking Johnny against the counter. The knife had fallen when he had, and I quickly snatched it up and hurried out of the kitchen. I went for my phone, but it wasn’t there—Johnny must’ve taken it.

The girls. They were all that mattered. My head still ringing with pain, I rushed into the nursery, flicked on the light, and shut the door. Next, I pushed the dresser in front of it before checking on the girls. They were fine, but could no doubt sense the strange energy in the air.

“I’m coming for you!” Johnny shouted.

My heart pounding, I held the knife in front of me, saying a silent prayer for Alex to come back soon.

If he didn’t, I’d defend my girls with everything I had, no matter what.

Chapter 28


“You need to get your asses there,now!”

Anxiety gripped me as I sped down the winding road into town from my house, the trees a green blur on both sides of me. The street was still slick, and the snow had picked up over the last hour. I was driving like a maniac, driving dangerously, but I didn’t give a damn.

I was on the phone with the cops, screaming into the speaker as I drove.

“Sir, you’re going to need to calm down.”

“How the hell am I supposed to stay calm when some prick is threatening my girlfriend and our kids?”

Was she my girlfriend? It was hard to say. Moreover, it was about the most irrelevant thing to worry about.

“I understand that sir. First, you’re going to need to tell us her address.”