Published by Sourcebooks Fire
Secrets. Obsession. Murder. Victoria is about to discover just how dangerous it can be to lose yourself.
Victoria Zell doesn’t fit in, but she’s okay with that. All she needs is the company of her equally oddball boyfriend, Andrew. She doesn’t care what anyone else thinks…until magnetic, charming, mysterious Z comes into her life, and she starts lying to everyone she knows in an effort to unravel his secrets.
And then something terrible happens. Someone is dead and it’s time for Victoria to come clean. Interspersed with news clippings and police interviews, Victoria tells her story to Andrew, revealing her dark, horrible secrets…secrets that have finally come back to haunt her.
I thought that once Z saw how disgusting this place was, he would turn and hightail it out of there. But that’s the thing about him, Andrew. That’s what made it impossible to leave him. He never does what’s expected. Part of me wanted to run, but the other part, the part that obviously won out, wanted to stay and see what he would do.
Z marched down the once white-speckled linoleum and slid into a booth like it had been reserved for him. The table was greasy and spattered with ketchup, but he didn’t notice. While I tried to pluck a napkin out of the dispenser, only to find it empty, he surveyed our surroundings, drummed his fingers on the table, and whistled something that sounded like a Sousa march. “So,” he said.
I spotted a hefty pile of napkins at the next table and ran a wad over the tabletop. The stains were crusted on; they were probably older than I was. I really could’ve used some Formula 409. “So what?”
His eyes, which were already big, widened. “Ask away.”
He smiled. “You said you don’t know me. Here’s your chance to. Ask me anything.”
I gaped. It was so forward. I would never ask anyone to ask me anything, because would anyone really care for the answer? Part of me wanted to say, “I don’t care about you,” but already, a larger part of me did care. Cared and wanted to know everything about him, right down to the smallest detail.
And he knew that. The boy had me figured out from that very first day.
“Why did you ask me here?” I whispered.
He smiled. “You looked like you wanted me to buy you an omelet.” He turned away to study the menu on the wall.
I raised an eyebrow. “Seriously.”
He said, “I was being serious.”
Looking back, if I had realized I was in danger, I might have run. But I didn’t. I suppose I was already trapped. Only I didn’t know it. I thought I could make my own decisions, and my decision was to be there, with him. But I was so wrong.
Now I can see exactly why he asked me. Because when you’re preparing to conquer the world, you have to start with the smallest of countries.
Cyn Balog is the author of the young adult paranormal novels FAIRY TALE, SLEEPLESS, STARSTRUCK, TOUCHED, DEAD RIVER, and UNNATURAL DEEDS. She lives outside Allentown, Pennsylvania with her husband and daughters. Visit her online at www.cynbalog.com.
1 winner will receive a finished copy of UNNATURAL DEEDS, US Only.