Fighting Shadows

By: Aly Martinez

“WHERE THE FUCK HAVE YOU been?” a man’s voice growled as soon as I entered the conference room.

My eyes flashed to his for only a single second before I recognized them. The door had barely clicked behind me, but I already wanted nothing more than to bolt. My heart raced, and my mouth dried.

I have to get out of here.

“Um . . .” I stalled, giving myself time to formulate a plan.

“Sit. Down,” he ordered, pushing out the chair next to him, but there was no way I was getting that close.

“I’m good,” I said, taking a step backwards toward the door.

“Don’t even think about it,” he snapped. “I swear to God, if you so much as open that door . . .” His words might have trailed off, but the threat had been clearly stated.

I swallowed hard and slowly walked to the chair farthest away from him, perching on the very edge—waiting for the right moment to escape.

He looked down at the name badge around my neck and quirked an eyebrow.

“Victoria?”

“You can call me Tori if it’s easier.” I tried to fake a smile, but it only seemed to infuriate him.

He took several calming breaths, which did nothing to dampen the blaze brewing in his angry eyes. “I’ve been looking for you, Ash.” He snarled my name.

“Oh, yeah? Well, mystery solved. Here I am.” I pushed back to my feet, but I was halted when his fist pounded against the table. My whole body flinched from the surprise.

When the room fell silent, I slowly looked back up to find him staring at me with a murderous glare. Even while he was sitting down, I could tell he was huge, and as he held my gaze, the tense muscles in his neck and shoulders strained against the cotton of his grey henley. He blinked at me for several seconds before finding his voice again.

“You live in a homeless shelter,” he stated definitively, as if the words told a story all of their own.

And maybe they did.

“I work at a homeless shelter,” I quickly corrected.

Only he corrected me just as fast. “In exchange for a permanent place to live . . . in. A. Homeless. Shelter.” He enunciated every single syllable.

I looked away, because it was the truth.

A truth I hated.

But the God’s honest truth nonetheless.

Tears welled in my eyes, and I battled to keep them at bay.

My life was hard, but his being there made it infinitely harder. If I could just escape that room, I could disappear again. It wasn’t ideal, but neither was his showing up.

“I want you to leave,” I lied with all the false courage I could muster.

“I can’t do that. You stole something of mine.”

“Look, I don’t have your book anymore.”

A knowing smirk lifted one side of his mouth. “Liar,” he whispered, reaching into the chair beside him, revealing the tattered book, and unceremoniously dropping it on the table.

My eyes widened, and without a conscious thought, I dove across the table after it.

That was mine. Not even he could have it.

Just as quickly as the book had appeared, he snatched it away and grabbed my wrist.

I slid off the table and tried to pull my arm from his grasp. It was a worthless attempt though, because even if he had suddenly released me, his blue eyes held me frozen in place.

“Three fucking years,” he seethed.

“I had to,” I squeaked out as the tears streamed down my cheeks.

“Three. Fucking. Years, Ash. You took something that belonged to me.” He let go of my arm and pushed to his feet.

My mouth fell open and a loud gasp escaped as he took two impossible steps forward.

Pinning me against the wall with his hard body, he lifted a hand to my throat and glided it up until his thumb stroked over my bottom lip. Using my chin, he turned my head and dragged his nose up my neck, stopping at my ear.

After sucking in a deep breath, he released it on a gravelly demand. “And I want her back.”

My breath hitched.

I’d waited three years to hear those words.

If only I could trust them.

“Flint, please.”





I REMEMBERED IT ALL.

I heard the gun.

I felt the bullet.

I saw her fall.

In less than a second, my life as I knew it was over.

But, unquestionably, I would do it all over again.

For her.

“Flint!” Eliza cried from underneath me.

▶ Also By Aly Martinez

▶ Hot Read

▶ Last Updated

▶ Recommend

Top Books