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Table of Contents

Title Page




Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Chapter 15

Chapter 16

Chapter 17

Chapter 18

Chapter 19

Chapter 20

Chapter 21

Chapter 22

Chapter 23

Chapter 24

Chapter 25

Chapter 26

Chapter 27

Chapter 28

Chapter 29

Also By


About the Author

Text and cover design

Copyright © 2021 Becky Moynihan

All rights reserved.

This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, organizations, places, events, and incidents are either products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. And resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

Published by Broken Books


No part of this book may be reproduced, or stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without express permission of the publisher.

Paperback ISBN: 978-1-7327330-6-0

Cover design by Becky Moynihan

Cover model by Ravven


To those who crave connection:

May you find what you’re looking for within the pages of a book.


He watched through the tinted windshield as she started up her silver Honda.

“She saw me in my true form,” he said the second his drothen answered the call. “Don’t worry, I took care of it. And I think you’re right—she knows nothing, not even what she is. But I want to test her alone before we get the others involved.”

Kade reacted strongly to the news, his shock through the phone clear.

“Yes, I know it’s against protocol,” he interrupted, unwavering in his decision, “but we can’t fail this time. She’s our last chance. Just give me a few weeks.”

The Honda’s lights flashed as she pulled into traffic. Ending the call, he unhurriedly pressed the ignition of his Lexus. At this hour, he knew she was headed home, having carefully studied her routine for the past four weeks.

When the tail lights faded, he adjusted his gloves and turned the steering wheel to follow her.


Freaking fates, this place belonged in a slasher film.

The large curtainless windows were giving off “I can see you” vibes, and the ghostly blobs dotting the dark interior were excellent hiding spots for would-be axe murderers. The blobs were only white sheets draped over the furniture, but hey, they seriously made the space look creepy.

I pulled out my phone. Cue unreliable cell reception for added effect. I tapped on my social media accounts only to see the dreaded “couldn’t refresh feed.” Well, that sucked. There went the few friends I had.

“It’s a fixer-upper, but you know how I like my projects,” my aunt said cheerily for my benefit. “And, look, free furniture.” She flicked on the entrance hall light—and nothing happened. With a long-suffering sigh, she fished out her phone and stepped onto the front porch, muttering, “Be right back. Gotta see if I can get an electrician out here this late.”

I shrugged like it was no big deal. “I’ll just be inside—” She walked off before I could finish, so I mumbled lamely to myself, “—looking for ghosts and serial killers.”

Only two months and sixteen days left of this pretending, I reminded myself reassuringly. I could play my aunt’s twisted game that much longer.

Pressing the flashlight icon on my phone, I began the preliminary exploration of our new home. We’d arrived sometime after midnight, having been on the road since before dawn. Aunt Tess had practically moved us across the country this time, from South Carolina to Rosewood, a small coastal town in Maine. Usually, we only hopped a state or two, picking a spot at random. But this time felt different.


She hadn’t even used a GPS to find this ramshackle house butted up against the woods. I had questions, as always, but knew better than to ask—especially this time. For once, I was pretty sure I knew what had spurred my aunt into moving again, and I wasn’t about to stir the pot by demanding answers.

She was spooked, and a spooked Aunt Tess meant another move.

The sooner we could settle into this place without me making a fuss, the better. I was done moving against my will. Being underage sucked. It forced me to follow my aunt across the country as she uprooted me again and again, making meaningful relationships impossible. I barely tried to make new friends now. What would the point be? I would just have to leave them behind in a few months.

At nearly eighteen years of age, I no longer doubted that Aunt Tess was keeping secrets from me. Always moving for my “safety” wasn’t normal. That, or she suffered from extreme paranoia. Either way, confronting her about it was pointless. She’d only become suspicious and ask if I’d seen anything weird lately.

I mean, yeah, I’d seen weird stuff. But was that really a good reason to move? This house was weird, this move was weird. What I saw or thought I’d seen shouldn’t send my aunt into a packing frenzy.

Our new digs was a lot bigger than our last one though, set back on a private gravel drive. Too bad the white, two-story house smelled of mothballs and abandonment. Shivering in my jean shorts, I pulled my red hoodie over my thick hair, tucking the long, chestnut brown tresses behind my ears. The temperature in Maine was far colder than what we’d left behind. It was barely autumn but felt like a southern winter. I sure hoped this dump had a heating unit.

After exploring the outdated kitchen, complete with white laminate countertops and blue floral wallpaper, I opened the door leading down to a spooky basement. Listening to my morbid curiosity instead of common sense, I carefully descended the creaky wooden stairs. That typical earthy, mildew basement smell hit me and I wrinkled my nose.

At the bottom, something brushed against my hoodie and I choked back a surprised squeak. Expecting cobwebs, I blindly batted at the air and struck a solid object instead. I whipped my phone up, and the flashlight’s beam revealed a swaying string. And attached to the string, dangling inches from my face, was a . . .

“Holy fates!” I jerked back and sat down hard

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