I used to be Everly Marrs, then D, W, J, K, and T kidnapped me to force my father’s hand. As hard as I tried not to lose myself to their games, I couldn’t have imagined how much worse things could get.
Six months trapped in hell. Six months forgetting who I used to be. Six months just trying to survive.
I got out—eventually—and there they were, all five of them. One moment I was in hell, and then suddenly, I returned to purgatory. They keep telling me what will happen to those who took what belonged to them. They keep telling me what will be done to their enemies.
I’m not sure I can believe them. I’m not sure a word they say is true.
The Letters, they’re still at war, and I’m still in the middle of it. I was an ant, and everyone around me stomped on me.
But, I used to be Everly Marrs, and— dammit— I will be again.
Everly has been through hell, and it shows. She’s not okay at all, it took ‘The Letters’ way too long to find her. Somehow she’s got to find her way back to some version of herself. It’s not going to be easy.
The things she was told, the things that were done to her, all conspire to make her how she is right now.
This is a favorite scene when she wakes up from a nightmare.
“Everly.” Arms came around me. I hated being touched. I’d told him—that doctor—to not do that. But these arms—whose were they?—they seemed okay. They were strong, steady.
I lifted my head to stare at J. He had me in his arms, and he rocked me back and forth. I shouldn’t have needed his help, shouldn’t have wanted him to hold me, and yet I placed my head down on his shoulder.
“Everly, look at me. When you can, look at me.”
It took me a long second, but I lifted my gaze to his. He nodded at me before he spoke again. “You’re going to be okay. Not the same as before. No one goes through what you went through and comes out the other side again. You’ll need some professional help, eventually. But you will be okay. And the people who did this to you will be punished. You will be a different kind of fine. If you can’t do anything else, believe me about that.”
I don’t know why I did. “All right, J. I’ll believe you.”
He shook his head. “What’s my name, Everly? We start with that. Say it. You know it. And things will go better if you stop dehumanizing us. We’re terrible people but that is what we are, people. Start with that.”
I swallowed. “It was so much easier to make you monsters to go with the monster who held me in the basement.”
“I know it was, and I am a monster. But I’m a monster with a first name. You can hate me as Judson, too.”
Why was it so hard to talk?
He spoke quietly. “Say my name, Everly.”
He nodded once and then kissed my forehead. “Good girl. Did you hurt your hand with the IV? Let me look.” And just like that it was over. The memory haunting my dream fled and I was okay, on the floor with five gazes all focused at me. I wasn’t alone. I had monsters with me, but they weren’t the one who had locked me in the basement.
“Maybe tomorrow I could try to come downstairs.”
Warden knelt down next to Judson. “Sounds like a good idea. And you could try to eat a little bit more, too.”
I was going to be some version of okay. For whatever reason, Judson saying it had made me believe it. I pulled myself off the ground. “I think I’m okay. Not hurt. Thanks.”
Judson put his hand on my cheek. “That’s good. Back in bed. It’s three in the morning. Nothing good happens at three in the morning.”
I’d been alone in the bed when I fell asleep, all of them sitting around the room staring at the television now occupying a huge amount of space in this room. “Where did you guys even find a television this big to bring up here? Do you have hidden televisions all around the house or in the basement?”
“We took it out of the living room.” Trace yawned. “If we’re hanging out in here, we don’t need it down there.”
Another question I’d not thought to ask presented itself. “If the house is full of people where are they all sleeping? The upper floor was still empty.”
“They’re not sleeping here. Nothing is frozen so they can take boats in and off the mainland. This is for the five of us only. It’s headquarters, so to speak,” Kade answered. “They’ll all be back in the morning.”
My mind whirled at the logistics. “They’re safe going back and forth?”
“No one is safe.” Derrick put his hand on my forehead for a second. “But they’re as safe as they’re going to be. This is war. Right now, the battle is tech stocks. Up and down every day. People losing millions upon millions. We’re winning. Warden is a genius.”
The thought didn’t bother me as it had before my… time away. Shitty things happened every day. If someone was in the wrong place at the wrong time, or investing in the wrong stock, that just fucking sucked for them.
He nodded at me. “Thanks.”
“What’s the end game? How do you win? What percentage of the world do you somehow conquer to call it a clear victory?”
Judson shook his head. “That’s morning talk. After coffee. Back in bed. Doctor’s orders. You’re still battling infection, and until you’re not, you have to rest and eat healthy food. When you’re not sick anymore you can figure out world domination. Although I think I was right to take you off that sedative. Your mind is clear. I like that.”
“I don’t feel sick.” I walked over to the bed.
“When your fever breaks, you’re going to feel worse. It’s funny how that works.” He patted the bed, and I got into it.
At least that made sense now. “I didn’t know I had a fever.”
“I know.” Judson nodded. “Into bed.”
I climbed in, and a second later Kade settled next to me, covering us both up. I hadn’t told him he could lie down with me, but I didn’t mind it either. I rolled a little bit away from him. “I don’t want you to get sick.” “I have an immune system of steel.” He pulled me closer. “And I don’t want to wake up to see you jumping from the bed like that again. Might have taken ten years off my life.”
Royce, Rebecca. Dark Truths (Kiss Her Goodbye Book 2) (pp. 27-30). Rebecca Royce. Kindle Edition.
A dark and difficult book, with so many twists, turns and truths you’ll have to keep turning the pages.
These guys will surely worm their way into your heart just as they did Everly’s. I really wish the third book was out already, I need to know what happens next.
5 Contented Purrs for Rebecca!
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Coming April 29th
As a teenager, I would hide in my room to read my favorite romance novels when I was supposed to be doing my homework. I hope, these days, that my parents think it was worth it.
I am the mother of three adorable boys and I am fortunate to be married to my best friend. I live in Austin Texas where I am determined to eat all the barbecue in town.
I am in love with science fiction, fantasy, and the paranormal and try to use all of these elements in my writing. I’ve been told I’m a little bloodthirsty so I hope that when you read my work you’ll enjoy the action packed ride that always ends in romance. I love to write series because I love to see characters develop over time and it always makes me happy to see my favorite characters make guest appearances in other books.
In my world anything is possible, anything can happen, and you should suspect that it will.
I’d love to hear from you!