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Inked Temptation (Inked Series, #1) by Maree, Kay (1)

THE PAST

“Morning Button,” my father calls out as I make my way into the

kitchen. I find him flipping pancakes like a pro.

“Morning Dad.” I cross to where he is standing at the stove, wrap my arms around his waist and he bends down to kiss the top of my head.

“How did you sleep?”

Releasing my hold, I head to the fridge and grab the orange juice before moving to the small dining table.

I turn to smile at him. “Great, did Mom get away okay this morning?” Mum was heading to Queensland for a couple of days with a few of her friends.

“Yep.”

I look over my shoulder to see him nodding and peering through the kitchen window with a faraway look on his face. I know they’ve been having troubles lately, I hear them arguing at night when they think I’m sleeping. My parents never argue in front of me and I know it’s mostly because my father won’t allow it. He doesn’t want me seeing their animosity toward each other. But, I’m eighteen now, not a little girl anymore. I’m aware they’ve been having problems for a long time and as much as I love my parents, my mother is far from maternal. I’ve heard her a few times, late at night, telling my father the only reason she had me was because of him. It hurts a little less each time she says it. I guess I’ve become used to the way she is, I can’t change her so, I try not to let it worry me.  My father loves me dearly and only ever wants me to be happy, I just wish he would realize, I want him to be happy too. Whether it’s with my mother, or on his own, everybody deserves to be happy. Especially my dad.

“Ally!” Dad’s shout breaks into my thoughts.

Shaking my head, I make my way towards the cupboard to grab some glasses.

“Sorry, dad.”

“You looked like you were off with the pixies.” He laughs and shakes his head at me as he plates up the mouthwatering pancakes.

“Is everything ok, Button?” Concern is clear in his voice and I hate that I have worried him.

I smile at his pet name for me. He used to call me Button Nose, but when I turned fourteen. I told him I was getting too old for it. So, he shortened it to Button and won’t budge. I won’t ever admit it, but I kind of like it.

“Yeah everything is perfect, I was just...” I don’t get to finish my sentence when the doorbell sounds

“I’ll grab the door, here pop these on the table” I hand him the glasses and hurry towards the front door. I glance at the clock on the wall as I pass, it’s 8:30 am. I wonder who would be calling this early on a Saturday morning. Pulling the door open, I’m surprised to find my ex-boyfriend, Luke, standing before me.

We broke up about two months ago. He was too intense and borderline crazy for me to handle. Not the good kind of crazy, more like he enjoyed pushing the limits by inflicting pain type of crazy. We were only together for about four months before his true colors surfaced.

I feel a chill descend over me and realize I’m shaking. My chest tightens. What is he doing here? He should be in jail. Oh God, why is he here?

“Luke.....” I manage to get out in a shaky voice before severe pain erupts across my belly.

I look down and my eyes widen at the sight of a huge knife protruding from my belly. A river of blood soaks my shirt. I stumble backwards, trip on the hallway rug and crash to the ground as everything around me becomes a blur. I hear my father shouting in the background while things are smashing in the distance. I taste the salt of my tears. My eyes flutter shut. Pain and blood flash behind my eyelids before darkness pulls me under.

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