Finding Us

Title: Finding Us
Series: Lost & Found Duet #2
Author: K.S. Marshall
Genre: Romantic Suspense/Thriller
Release Date: April 27, 2018
Cover Design: Captured by K. Designs

 


 

This isn’t a love story. This is a story about redemption. She was lost and then she was taken. He found her twice. But will she ever be truly free again? How can you ever be whole after your entire world was ripped apart? How will they both survive the nightmare when they realize it’s not over? She loved him and he loved her. But it wasn’t that simple.
TRIGGER WARNING:
Triggers (for both part 1 and part 2): Rape, Violence, Assault, Mental/Emotional Abuse, Death, PTSD triggers
PROLOGUEThe moon hit that perfect point in the sky where its light trickled down and flooded the balcony, shining a beam of light into the bedroom. I peeled myself out from under Derrick’s arms, feeling the same drop in my stomach I felt every time he wasn’t touching me. I was a woman obsessed. I was also terrified of being separated from him again.

When he held me, I didn’t have nightmares. When his hands caressed me, the panic attacks ceased. With Derrick, I was able to forget what happened. I ached with the guilt of not telling him any parts of the ordeal. I knew it was killing him.

But I loved the way he looked at me now, like I was the key to his entire world. If I told him what Jason did to me, the things I’d done during the course of being held prisoner, that look would go away.

I couldn’t risk that.

I stepped onto the balcony, bathing in the moonlight. It was warm and there was a gentle breeze moving the clouds around. We moved to a new wing of the house and it was quieter here. The pool and pool house were right underneath us and I’d been dying to get back into it. Now that my ankle was fully healed, it seemed like a good idea.

There was no point in getting changed. No one ever swam in the pool anymore. I tiptoed down the stairs and padded across the grass to the stone slabs surrounding the sapphire tinted water. I let my nightgown fall off my shoulders and stepped gently down the stairs, wading out to waist level.

Spreading my arms out, I tilted my chin up, gazing at the stars as I fell back into the warm water.The temperature was perfect. I floated on my back, loving the weightless feeling it offered me.

God, how I needed to feel weightless. I didn’t allow myself to feel that way since coming home. There was too much blood on my hands, too many unanswered questions, too much left unsaid for me to spread that around for others to carry.

No, I would shoulder the weight of everything. It had to be this way.

I dove beneath the water, swimming a few laps before floating on my back. It helped soothe my grieving soul. My eyes burned from opening them underneath the water, so I stood in the shallow end rubbing them. Footsteps sounded on the stone behind.

Glancing over my naked shoulder, black boots stood at the edge of the pool near the deeper end. A smile tugged on my lips, assuming it was Derrick coming to join me. But I realized the body was different.

I began to tremble, my smile fading from my face.I recognized the all black outfit, complete with black gloves.

I opened my mouth to scream, but the man held a finger up to his lips, silencing me. Tears blurred my vision. I blinked at them, sending them splashing into the water surrounding me.

He found me.

He came back for me.

I wasn’t going to survive this time.

“Alina?” a voice called out.

Derrick walked out onto the balcony. He hadn’t come to the edge yet, so he couldn’t see me down in the pool. I swallowed, unable to form words from the sheer terror of what would happen next.

When I glanced back down, he was gone.

That was my warning.

He was never going to let me escape anyway.

He was coming back for what he owned.


K.S. Marshall is West Coast girl with a heart for Texas, who found herself calling Pittsburgh, PA her home. Having grown up with an avid romance reader for mother, the pull toward the genre was automatic. She enjoys writing complex stories with dark elements that keep her readers on the edge of their seats. Life and love are both complicated and messy and, true to reality, her characters are authentically flawed. 

 

When she’s not reading or writing another plot twist, you can find her having impromptu dance parties, eating her weight in tacos, and doing fitness stuff with her friends. She’s absolutely crazy over her children and her fur-babies, Luna and Weston. And that Sean guy is pretty cool too.

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