Read Novels Online Home

Unlocking Shadows (Keys to Love, Book Four) by Kennedy Layne (1)

Chapter One

Twelve years ago…

Hope.

How could an individual still have such an impractical yearning after facing such a malicious, unrelenting evil?

Emma Irwin still desperately grasped at the prospect that she’d be with her family soon. She’d tell them all about the things that people took for granted, such as how much she loved them. She’d apologize to her older sister for acting so childish and to her mother for not doing the dishes like she’d promised this morning. The simplest acts of kindness weren’t hard to perform, yet she’d never realized how selfish she’d been until just this moment.

Until she’d found herself in a situation that was her father’s worst nightmare.

Emma bit back another sob as the old wooden dock underneath her back jostled her from side to side in time with the storm. The gusting winds from the gale had churned up the lake, and the choppy waves were slamming into the weathered planks. Cold rain was descending from the black sky overhead, washing away her tears as if they never existed.

When a crack of thunder overhead was followed a second later by a streak of lightning, it was a harsh reminder that she was still alive.

Emma shifted so that her bound hands didn’t dig into the small of her back quite as badly. She struggled to free herself from the thick white zip tie secured tightly around her wrists, refusing to accept that she would die at the hands of someone she’d once trusted.

How could he do this to her?

The hard, half-inch wide plastic cut into her skin, a cruel reminder that she was at his mercy.

His muttered curses were drowned out by the torrential downpour, which served her well. He wouldn’t be able to hear what she was doing behind him.

The wooden deck jarred abruptly, providing her the momentum to roll forward. Her cheek scraped against the wet, rough plank as she leveraged herself to her knees. The cold rain had numbed her skin long ago, but that could easily have been from the terror that had flooded her system when she realized that a man she’d known her entire life was a monster.

“I’ll give you a family of your own.”

Emma screamed as he suddenly appeared before her.

“Please,” Emma choked out, having strained her voice after he’d all but thrown her into the bed of his truck. “Please don’t do this. You know me. You know my family. I have a family.”

“You were unhappy.”

“I wasn’t,” Emma denied emphatically with a shake of her head, swallowing back the sob that rose in her throat. “I wasn’t unhappy. I love my family. I do. I always have.”

Emma could have continued pleading, but her frantic claims would have fallen on deaf ears. She began crying uncontrollably. He wasn’t hearing anything she said, and he’d even turned away to throw what looked like a pile of chains into a boat that wasn’t even his.

Her mind registered his horrific intentions, and she instinctively managed to scramble to her feet.

She ran as fast as she could despite of her wrists being bound, ignoring the rain pelting her face and the wind attempting to knock her off the deck and into the lake. She’d just learned to swim this past summer, but she’d done so with the use of her hands. She’d most likely drown immediately without being able to move her arms.

Adrenaline kept her moving forward, though she blinked furiously to clear her vision so that she could make it to land.

There!

Up ahead.

Headlights pulled into one of the cabins that Birdie rented out to fishermen or families on vacation. She instinctively began screaming, but the rumbling thunder overhead drowned out her cries for hope.

That didn’t stop her from trying again.

Unfortunately, it was too late.

“No, no, no, no.” He’d grabbed ahold of her wet strands of hair, yanking her back against him with such force that it knocked the air right out of her lungs. She couldn’t scream, and she couldn’t even cry. “I’m taking you home.”

Emma didn’t need to be told that she would die if he got her into that boat. She fought his constricting grip around her upper body, kicking and twisting in an attempt to free herself at all costs.

It was of no use. He was too strong, and the lights she’d seen were no longer there.

The hope she’d been holding onto had been doused by the rain and swallowed by the darkness of his soul.

“I’m taking you home where you belong, Emma.”

Search

Hot Authors

Sam Crescent, Zoe Chant, Mia Madison, Lexy Timms, Alexa Riley, Claire Adams, Bella Forrest, Flora Ferrari, Sophie Stern, Amy Brent, Jordan Silver, Jenika Snow, Elizabeth Lennox, Mia Ford, Leslie North, Michelle Love, Madison Faye, Penny Wylder, Kathi S. Barton, Delilah Devlin, C.M. Steele, Frankie Love, Sarah J. Stone, Eve Langlais, Kathryn Thomas,

Random Novels

Crazy Good by Rachel Robinson

Hard Time by Jerry Cole

At the Wedding by Matt Dunn

Southern Attraction (Southern Heart Book 3) by Kaylee Ryan

Ryder (Player Card Series Book 3) by Ellie Danes, Katie Kyler

The Iron Tiara: A Nine Minutes Spin-Off Novel by Beth Flynn

Breath of Passion (The Muse Chronicles Book 3) by Lisa Kessler

Fighting to Forget by J.B. Salsbury

Link: Ruthless Bastards (RBMC Book 3) by Chelsea Handcock

Avenging Julie (Special Forces: Operation Alpha) (Guardians of Hope Book 6) by KD Michaels, Operation Alpha

The Future of Us (The Future of Sex Book 12) by Aubrey Parker

Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia

Naughty Little Thief by Red Garnier

Torrid Little Affair by Kendall Ryan

The First One To Die: An unputdownable crime thriller by Victoria Jenkins

Deadly Embrace (Deadly Assassins Series Book 1) by Kiki A. Yates

Avenged by a Highland Laird (The MacLomain Series: A New Beginning Book 4) by Sky Purington

Mad Dog Maddox: M/M erotica (Adrenaline Jake Book 2) by Louise Collins

Billionaires, Boarders, and Bastards: A Limited-Time Collection of Reverse Harem Romance Novellas by C.M. Stunich, Tate James, Amanda Rose

Only One I Want (UnHallowed Series Book 2) by Tmonique Stephens