Dark and twisted secrets mar Shane Coulter’s skin, and darken his fragile heart. Yet he keeps his nightmarish truth hidden from all those he holds dear with a smart mouth and abrasive attitude.
His first love, Callan Reid, refuses to accept Shane’s tough exterior. Convinced something truly horrific lurks beneath Shane’s defenses, Callan vows to uncover the truth.
But some things are better left buried. As darkness from the past threatens to be brought to light, there are those who would kill to prevent it. Can Callan break down Shane’s walls? Or will digging into the past come with deadly consequences?
Born an Empath, the intrusive feelings of others force themselves into the forefront of Wren Stafford’s mind and haunt his dreams.
For a time, he thought he put the pain of his past behind him when he met the love of his life.
But fate had far more cruel plans.
He tried to warn his husband, Henry; begged him not to ignore his predictions of the terrible atrocities to come. Then Henry was found murdered, and Wren was named as the prime suspect.
Harassed by the police and condemned by the public, Wren hunts for his husband’s killer amid being plagued by nightmares of his own grisly death. Time is running out. Can he unravel the clues within his visions in time to stop the killer? Or is he destined to become the next victim?
We sit there for a moment, basking in the silence of our comfort. I know it’s wrong, but I find myself wishing that it could be just the two of us forever. No moment is calm with Father. I’m always on edge. With mother, I feel wanted and grounded, but she’s hardly ever here.
“Wren, I want to ask you something.” There’s a long pause. “Do you see things?”
I shift uncomfortably. We haven’t talked about this before. “What kind of things?”
“Things that might scare you. Maybe...things that aren't there.”
I know what hallucinations are. Is that what she’s asking? “I don't see things, but I feel them.”
Her fingers comb through my hair as she asks, “What do you feel, my darling?”
“Emotions, I guess. Ones that don’t belong to me. Sometimes I see, hear, and feel things that other people are going through.” Pulling back, I tuck myself against the pillows. “Ryan in my English class, his brother is really sick, and he was crying the other day, so I started crying too. I could feel his emotions like I was going through it myself.” The look on her face is one of concern, and that makes me feel uneasy. “Does that sound strange?”
“I suppose it is strange, but I’m not surprised. I used to be the same way.” Mother gestures to the pill bottles beside her. “Before all of this.”
My lips purse. This is my mother. She deserves to be spoken to with respect and compassion, but what can I say when I don’t understand her? “Why are you doing that, Mom? Is Dad making you? I know he doesn’t like it when I talk about my feelings.”
“It’s my choice to take them. Yes, he made the suggestion, but he’s not forcing them down my throat. I’ve come to accept this isn’t something to be celebrated, Wren. We’re sick.” She taps her forehead. “Here. It’s a mental illness, but it can be managed.”
I furrow my brow, refusing to accept that. Everything I’ve said, and felt, has been accurate. If it was all wrong, I could see why Father might think I’m insane, but if I’m right, doesn’t that mean I’m gifted? “I think you’re both wrong.” I would never say that to him, but Mother has never raised a hand to me, so I know that I can speak my mind. “We’re not crazy, Mom.”
She offers a small smile, hand running through my hair. “Maybe not, little one. But even if what we see, hear, and feel, does turn out to be true…it will still drive us mad. It’s a burden to know the things we do.”
This doesn’t make me feel better. Neither parent has made me feel safe. How am I supposed to talk to two people who think I’m sick? It doesn’t make me a bad person, I know that, but I feel so strongly that I’m not sick in the mind as they’d have me believe.
But that’s the kind of thing a sick person would think. Maybe it’s true. I don’t know what to believe anymore.
Laurencia Hoffman specializes in various sub-genres of romance. Her stories often focus on the darker side of fiction, but love and survival remain the central themes throughout her work.
When she's not writing, she also enjoys playing video games with her family, listening to music, satisfying her sweet tooth, and watching films.
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