Hi everyone!! Here is an excerpt from SJAR2, which is the prologue and the first chapter. Enjoy!
I raced to the guest house to make sure Hayley was there. After what happened, I had to know if she was safe. I was trying not to panic, but a part of me feared the worse. How could I have not picked up on the signs? With all of the issues I had with everyone around me, I should have known something was up. I should have known someone near to me was a part of everything that was happening. They were involved with what happened to Craig and the problems I had faced since I’d been in Dallas. The one person I was unaware of that was causing all of these problems was the person I was close to and saw every single day. For that, not only was I pissed, but I was defeated because I let my guard down.
After cutting off three cars on the feeder, I was quickly approaching the house. I ran out of the car with the engine running and headed for the door. I forgot about my key, so I stepped back and after two attempts I was able to kick the door in. I would have to give some money to Uncle Rick to pay for the door later.
Whoever did this knew no one else would be here since Uncle Rick and Aunt Caroline went to Houston to pick up the motorcycle. This was the perfect opportunity for them to do something to Hayley. I was stupid enough to leave and told Steve and Carl not to follow her since she asked me to do this. For being so blinded by the truth, I should be the one punished, not Hayley.
I saw the blood stain on the carpet which made me panic. I had to find her.
“Hayley!” I yelled going around the guest house. I went into the bathroom, praying that she was in there, but she wasn’t.
I continued to walk around only to find she was gone. I stood in the middle of the house trying hard not to break down. My fears had come true, which was tearing me apart.
I went over to the counter, thinking about that night that Hayley and I shared. Anger began to rise in me as I threw everything on the floor. I was about to start destroying the china near the cabinets when I saw a recorder lying on the coffee table. I went over and picked it up. I pressed play and listened to the voice of the bastard that caused all of this shit.
“I told you I would come after you for what you did. Now, I have someone that you love. An eye for an eye, right? Now, let’s see what you will do.”
I threw the recorder at the wall and watched it fall to the floor.
I walked out of the guest house, preparing myself for another battle. He wanted to see what I’m capable of, well, get ready, because he hasn’t seen anything yet.
Three weeks earlier…
It’s been almost a month since Morgan and I arrived at his uncle’s house. He and Caroline had been nothing but nice as they helped us to settle in. They even allowed us to use their guest house so we would have our own space. Of course, that didn’t go well with Morgan’s cousin, Will. For some reason, I didn’t trust him. I had these feelings about him since I first arrived. He was just weird and tried too hard to be a certain way around Morgan. Honestly, it was a little embarrassing.
Since we had been here, all we did was stay in the guest house and entertain each other. We only went outside to go to the main house which was fine at first, but now, it was becoming annoying. I’m not used to wasting my time doing nothing. I was always on the go, so this was a huge adjustment. Since someone was after Morgan, it was understandable that we couldn’t go anywhere, but I would like to see something other than these gray walls for a couple of hours.
I picked up my phone and scrolled through my photos. Once I got settled in, I immediately changed my number which meant I couldn’t really talk to anyone. Not only did I miss Thanksgiving, but also Christmas, and this made me really emotional. I never missed a holiday with my family, so this was taking a toll on me. As for Lamar, I’m not sure how things are going with him. After what happened between him and Morgan, their friendship was practically over. I really hate that happened, but it had to be done. Now, Morgan and I didn’t need to hide our relationship. We could finally be together. Sure, we couldn’t show it now, but at least we didn’t have to sneak around once we return home. Well, if we did return home.
As for what happened before we arrived in Dallas, I still cannot stop thinking about that. The fact that I killed someone still bothers me. I have nightmares about it all the time when I think about pulling the trigger. Now I understood what Morgan has been going through all of these years with killing his stepfather. No matter how much you try to block it from your memory, it’s something that would never go away.
I looked over my shoulder at Morgan as he was lying on the bed. I stared at the window looking at how beautiful the night looked. It was perfect for going out to celebrate the New Year. Too bad we couldn’t.
Morgan stared at me and smiled. “What? That you and I will be here alone. I hardly find that a bad thing.”
I glanced at him with a huge smile. “Trust me, it’s not that. It’s just that it’s New Year’s Eve. We should be going out and having fun.”
Morgan got up from the bed and walked over to me. His clear blue eyes were giving me a piercing stare while his lips were curled into a sexy smile which instantly made me wet. This man definitely knew how to make most of my issues disappear with a smile and those damn eyes. I loved his eyes.
“I was hoping we could ring in the New Year another way,” he said.
“I’m sure you do.”
He pulled me into his arms and gently kissed my neck. He gave me a sincere look as he noticed the doubtful look on my face.
“I know you want to go out, but you know we can’t.”
“That’s my problem with this entire thing. We have been in Dallas for almost a month now, and we’ve barely been outside. I can’t deal with this. I’m so used to being outdoors that I feel like I’m being shut in.”
“Baby, I know this is an adjustment. Believe me, I’m feeling the same way, but we can’t risk being seen.”
I sighed and sat down on the bed. “Does Rick and Caroline even know why we’ve been hiding out?”
Morgan sighed and sat down beside me. “Not really. Aunt Caroline did ask why we’re always here.”
“Don’t you think you need to tell them?”
“Tell them what? That I killed my stepfather, and I’m possibly hiding from his damn family. Let’s not forget that my girlfriend killed someone for me in self-defense.”
“Hales, this is something we have to do right now. Eventually, things will get better.”
“I hope you’re right.”
“Things will change. Just trust me,” he said. He leaned over to me and slowly kissed my lips down to my shoulder. He moved up to my neck and sucked on my skin which made me moan.
“Keep doing that and I won’t care about going anywhere,” I whispered.
“That’s my plan,” he said.
He moved my face to his and kissed me. His hand was moving up my thigh as his tongue was grazing my earlobe. Before we could even go any further, the door opened, and Will walked in. We both looked up, wondering what the hell was going on.
“What the hell, Will!” Morgan yelled.
“Sorry, I didn’t think you two were about to…”
“We’re not now,” I whispered as I moved away from Morgan.
“You could have knocked,” Morgan continued.
“I know and I’m sorry. Anyway, a bunch of us are going to the Palace to ring in the New Year. You guys want to come?”
“I don’t think so,” Morgan said.
“Come on. Every time I have asked you to go out, you never do. You’re always here which I know can be a little boring.”
“Will, thanks, but no thanks. We’re cool.”
“Don’t you two think you should forget about whatever happened this year and bring in 2015 with a little fun? I know something must have happened back in Houston, and that’s why you’re here.”
Morgan looked at Will while I gave him an uneasy look. This conversation was moving in a different direction.
“Why would you think that?”
“I know you Morgan. You barely come to visit us and all of a sudden you’re here, and you haven’t left. If something is wrong, you can always tell me.”
I glanced at Morgan, who looked at me. He looked back at Will and gave him a confident smile.
“Nothing’s going on Will. We’re here because I hadn’t visited in a while. I know it has been a long time, that’s why I needed to visit.”
Will folded his arms across his chest and nodded. “Okay. I never got to ask, but how is your mom? I know things haven’t really been the same since Craig went missing.”
I tilted my head at Will wondering where he was getting at. We’ve been here for a while now, and he’s just now bringing this up. Something’s not right.
“My mom is fine. There was a period when things were sort of dark for her, but she’s doing better.”
“Why haven’t you contacted her since you been here?”
Something definitely wasn’t right.
“Uh, Will, I think we will take you up on that offer. Give us a few minutes while we get ready.”
“Hales…” Morgan interrupted.
“Trust me, we’ll have fun,” I said while giving him a cautious stare.
Will smiled and went to the door. “I’ll be back in an hour.”
I gave him a fake smile as he went outside. As soon as the door closed, Morgan gave me a heated glance.
“What are you doing? We can’t…”
“I know that, but I had to do something so he would leave.”
“Don’t you find it weird that he was asking all of those questions about your mom? It didn’t make sense.”
“He was just wondering.”
“He could have asked that when you first arrived, not when you’re alone with him. It was like he was fishing for details.”
“You’re being paranoid now.”
“Am I? Since everything we have been through, I think you need to put your guard up for everyone, including your family.”
Morgan shook his head while I sighed. “Baby, I’m not being suspicious, but I been having a strange vibe about him since we first arrived. There’s definitely something up with your cousin, and I really think you should watch what you say around him.”
“I understand that you have been through a lot with everything that has happened, but he’s my cousin. Yes, he can be a bit pushy sometimes, but I have never had to doubt him or his motives.”
“Okay, fine. I just wanted to give you my reasons. I didn’t want to keep that from you.”
“That’s fine, but I assure you that Will is good people. You can trust him.”
I gave him a doubtful look which I quickly replaced with a forced grin. “Well, if you trust him, then I will too.”
“Good. Now, I guess we should get ready to go out, even though, we shouldn’t. I think you said that so we actually could go.”
He smiled and kissed my cheek. “In that case, you better make it worth my while.”
“You know I will.”
He smacked my ass and smiled before going to the bathroom.
I looked over at the window and saw Will looking through the window as well. He gave me a sinful grin before going into the main house.
A shiver went through me as I turned around. I would never put any trust in him. He was too creepy. I guess I would have to keep my suspicions to myself for now.