Walking the edge
The next step might be the last…
A woman without a past
Left amnesiac after an accident, Amelia Jamison’s instincts slowly rise from the depths of oblivion to question her life as the wife of a cold, manipulating, and distant man. Wisps of a dream show her another man she may have known intimately, but is he a memory, or a figment of her imagination?
A man with too much information
After many aliases, today Gerard Besson is simply a police commissaire in Marseille. When a mysterious woman starts to follow him, he is suspicious. But things aren’t what they seem, and as he reluctantly gets closer to her, dredges of his painful, buried past spring to light and make him question her identity.
Each seems to have led two different lives
But neither is prepared for what awaits them when they cross the fine line between knowing your true self and that of your alter ego.
Danger is the name of the game, and as it catches up with them in the French Provence, both know they better be ready for the inevitable fall.
He released her on the threshold of her bedroom and turned to leave. The violence in his moves hit like a splash of cold water on her senses, and the certainty slid home that she couldn’t trust him. Something told her he lied as naturally as he breathed. And he had a mistress…
“She made you her bitch, didn’t she?”
The question hurtled from her mouth before she could think it out. Too late, though—she’d have to see it through. Also high time he came clean with her.
He didn’t turn. “You’re out of your mind.”
“Am I? No wonder, since you ply me with so many drugs!” She’d add oil to the fire, but she had a feeling restraint wasn’t something that featured high on her list of priorities when she got riled up.
He whirled around, and she saw him move as if someone had pushed a slow-motion button. Somehow, she should be afraid, but she wasn’t. He didn’t faze her, not his erect stance, or the fury evident on his face. What a change from the usual detachment. Had she hit a sensitive nerve?
“No one made me her bitch, Millie. It’s been a long time since we’ve been husband and wife in the carnal sense, you and me.”
Her gut told her some truth lurked in his statement. Hallelujah. She needed more, though. Why the sham of their marriage, then?
He gave a bitter snort and laughed. “You don’t want to know.”
She did. “What happened?”
“I don’t want to go there.” He turned to leave.
But she couldn’t let him go, not after he’d started to open up, if only a little. She ran to him, as fast as her still-sluggish body could, and caught up with him in the doorway of his bedroom, clasping his wrist to force him to stop.
“What happened?” she again questioned him.
“If you want a new start for us, you wouldn’t ask that.”
He didn’t shrug off her hand, so she stood her ground. “Tell me.”
When she insisted, he did throw her hand off, and she jerked from the sudden movement. Her insides shook when he hit his clenched fists against the wall. The reverberation along the panel rocked the glass vase on the nearby demi-console propped against the silk-lined wall, and it tumbled to shatter on the parquet.
“You want the truth? I’ll give it to you.”
A sliver of unease slid into her heart, and for once, she questioned her judgment. Would it be a good thing, to know? Wasn’t ignorance better?
“The bloody truth, Amelia, is that you were on the Côte d’Azur while I stayed back here. I thought you went to the film festival in Cannes, but you’d scampered miles away from there.”
He paused, as if for emphasis, and her unease snowballed into dread.
“You’d found a comfy spot on a yacht off the coast of Nice. A yacht that exploded because of a bomb, leaving you for dead, while the intended target escaped.” He let a few seconds elapse in silence. “Will you ask why you were on board that yacht in the first place?”
She wanted to shake her head “no,” but she couldn’t. She needed to hear this, however unsettling it would prove to be.
“You were there because someone invited you to have a good time on board their friend’s yacht.” He took a step forward, backing her against the wall. “That someone, Millie, was your lover.”
This couldn’t be true. She wasn’t someone who cheated. She couldn’t be. “Fuck you, Peter.”
The sting of his palm striking her cheek forced the breath out of her lungs as she reeled from the violence. How dare he hit her? Reflexively, she struck back and connected with his face, the back of her hand a hard blow to his mouth, her diamond ring splitting his lip.
He brought one hand up and used his thumb to wipe the blood trickling down the side of his chin. Without another word, he turned on his heels and went into his bedroom.
But she wasn’t done with him, not yet. Not by a long shot. “Why did you stay with me, then, if I’d taken another man to my bed? Why the whole make-believe setup now?”
She followed him, but one step inside the bedroom and her instincts rose to the highest alert. Something very bad was about to happen. She froze with the insight as sounds of a cabinet door closing in the bathroom reached her ears. She should turn tail and run, back to her room where she’d slide the bolt and turn the key so Peter couldn’t get to her.
But she wasn’t fast enough. She still found herself where she stood when he re-entered the bedroom, something in his hand. She didn’t know what, but it would spell her doom.
She turned and rushed to the corridor. His footsteps accelerated behind her. Two feet from the door to her deliverance, his arm wrapped tight around her neck and he pulled her roughly to him, his hand clutching her upper arm in a vise-like grip. He was so much bigger than her…
Her first instinct told her to fight, yet, the more she squirmed, the tighter his stranglehold got.
Take a few steps forward, gather momentum, and hit the wall, feet flat. In the same move, twist your torso to the side and hit hard with the elbow.
She had no time to ponder where the certainty of that thought came from or how the sound of the deep, male voice addressing her crystallized in her mind. She tried to do as the voice inside her head told her to, but she wasn’t fast enough. The sharp prick of a needle in her neck made her cry out. She howled with misery and defeat when the stinging release of the drug Peter injected into her burnt through her muscles.
Her body went progressively limp, but she heard the words he whispered in her ear.
“Because you were always meant to be mine,” he said in a low growl thrumming with possession and spite.
Then the darkness claimed her, and she sagged as its clawing fingers ripped at her consciousness.
About The Author:
Author, editor, smitten wife, in-over-her-head mum to a tween boy, best-buddy stepmum to a teenage lad, bookaholic, lover of all things fluffy & pink, chronic shoeholic, incompetent housewife desperate to channel Nigella Lawson (and who’ll prolly always fail at making domestic goddess status)…
Zee hails from the multicultural, rainbow-nation island of Mauritius, in the southern Indian Ocean, where she grew up on the figurative fence—one side had her ancestors’ Indian and Muslim culture; the other had modernity and the global village. When one day she realised she could dip her toes into both sides without losing her integrity, she found her identity.
This quest for ‘finding your place’ is what she attempts to bring in all her stories, across all the genres she writes. Her heroines represent today’s women trying to reconcile love, life, & relationships in a melting pot of cultures, while her heroes are Alpha men who often get put back into their rightful place by the headstrong women she writes. Love is always a winner in her stories, though; that’s a given.
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