No matter how fast or far you run, your past will follow…
Three years have passed, and Ally’s memories of her kidnapping and torture still haunt her. Determined to keep her demons at bay, David refuses to leave her side.
The lies woven to protect come unraveled. Ally has no choice but to return to the land that once imprisoned her. This time, instead of the sociopath who tormented her years ago, she faces his angry brother. A brother whose thirst for vengeance threatens to destroy everything and everyone she holds dear.
“So what’s next?” Dave’s question had her raising her brows and looking up at him. He shrugged. “I know you have a checklist. What’s next on there?”
Ally bit her lip and shrugged. “Well, I wouldn’t call it a checklist.”
He laughed. “Call it whatever you want, but what’s next?”
She pressed her face into his chest and braced herself for his reaction. “I think I’m ready to go back to work.”
For a good few minutes, he didn’t respond. She wasn’t even sure if he was breathing until his chest finally rose, lifting her head with it. “What kind of work?”
She closed her eyes. “Counseling at the practice.”
When he sat up, she slid off his body and onto her back. Ally stared up at him, watching him rub the back of his neck.
“I lost you because of your job.” A familiar shadow of sadness floated across his face. It was one she’d seen at random stretches the past year and a half. “I can’t even try to count how many times I’ve seen the image in the parking lot on the day you disappeared. Your car still there. One shoe. Your purse and a puddle of your blood, but no you.” His voice cracked. “I… I can’t lose you again.”
Ally got on her knees, straddling him, and sandwiched his face in her hands, forcing him to look at her. “You won’t. Sayeed is dead. It’s all over.”
His eyes searched hers. “Your client kidnapped you and took you away. It happened once, it could happen again.”
“David, we both need to heal. To learn to trust the world again, like my body’s learning to trust you.”
He wrapped his arms around her waist and pulled her to him, resting his face against her chest. “Baby, I can’t lose you.”
Ally held him as tight as he held her. “You won’t. Promise.”
Neither of them moved for an eternity. Ally waited, giving him the time he needed. Finally, David loosened his grip. “No nights,” he mumbled.
She closed her eyes and kissed the top of his head. “Deal.”
“No male clients.”
His grip on her tightened. “Then no work.”
He looked at her with a sad smile. “You’re humoring me, aren’t you? Making me feel like I have some control in this job decision.”
She shook her head. “You do have control. If you say don’t go, I won’t.”
He rolled his eyes. “I hate it when you do that.”
He returned his face to his favorite spot, at the nape of her neck. When he spoke, his lips brushed against her skin. “Sometimes at night, I wake up thinking you’re still gone and all of this is a big beautiful dream. I have to look over and touch you to make sure you’re really there next to me.”
She ran her fingers through the back of his hair. “I’m not going anywhere again.”
He nodded but didn’t respond.