Alexia “Lexi” Hanson moved across the country to rebuild her life after the attack that almost destroyed her. She enjoys the simple things in her beach cottage. Life is finally complete.
Noah Matthews is Rock & Roll’s hottest star and on top of the world. After years without a break he finds the solitude he craves at his beach house. Enjoying his early morning coffee, Noah is surprised to see his neighbour sneak into his garden and crawl around.
They never saw that fateful morning coming. Someone was watching them. Someone who thought Lexi belonged to him and would stop at nothing to have her.
Lives are changed forever when they meet amongst the blooms in his garden. Even when things seem darkest, there is always light After the Storm.
Prologue(unedited - subject to change)
He walked out into the hot summer air and breathed in deeply. It had been so long since he could breathe freely. His shoes crunched across the gravel in the parking lot and he thought of her. It’s all her fault I have lost these past five years of his life. She took his freedom away. His rage built with every step he took as he approached the cab that was waiting for him. He hated these disgusting things but he did not want anyone to know he was back. He carried himself with a refined grace of the social elite. He stood just over six foot two inches with broad shoulders, dark wavy hair, piercing blue eyes and chiseled features. He had a scar that ran about an inch long from the outer edge of his left eyebrow and continued down below his eye. A souvenir courtesy of his father he saw every time he looked into the mirror, it didn’t detract from his beauty, and in fact it had the opposite effect. It added a dangerous flare to him that women found irresistible. He could have his pick of any woman at any time. He loved the power he had over them.
After giving the driver his address he sat back and watched the city go by trying to keep his mind off of her. He was trying to focus on what had changed and what had stayed the same, anything to distract his thoughts from her. He was thankful that he had enough money so he could ride out this whole unfortunate situation without losing everything. He chuckled to himself at the knowledge that she would never know what was coming for her. He smiled for the first time since he walked out in the heat. He unlocked the front door and strode into his home, his castle. Everything was as it had been the last time he was there all those years ago. This was good because he didn’t want to take the time to contact the caretaker if he had done anything wrong. He had a limited time to do what he needed to do before heading to the east coast. He climbed the stairs and went to the secret room that he had built himself behind the master bedroom closet and held his breath before entering, scared that someone might have found it. But if they had found it things would be quite different now. It was a small room, only twenty-five square feet with the walls covered with pictures of his women. One of the walls had what he considered miscellaneous “tools” he liked to use on his women, while another whole wall was dedicated floor to ceiling to women that he had killed. It showed them in all different scenarios from being out in public to in their own homes. He paused for a moment remembering raping and killing each and every one of them. As always it brought a calm over him to remember them. He lightly kissed each one before he slowly turned his attention to the other pictures on a wall of their own. This wall belonged solely to her, the one that got away. It still angered him that he was unable to finish what he had started. He crossed to his favorites of her. One night while she slept he had snuck into her home and took a picture of her sleeping. She had a smile on her face; he liked to think she was dreaming of him. While she slept he had hid the cameras and bugs in her home. It was daring doing that while she was their but he needed the extra thrill of possibly being caught. He closed his eyes remembering going back up to her bedroom for one last look. It had taken everything he had not to take her then but there are times when it makes it better to wait. He moved to absolute favorite picture of her, the one that made him hard every time. She was naked and tied to her bed just before she woke up. It was the moment before her eyes opened and she figured out what was going on. The calm before the storm. A smile spreads across his face. He unzipped his pants aching for the release and started jerking off to the thought of doing it to her again, but not being interrupted. This time he would make sure he killed her while he was coming inside of her. He threw back his head and screamed her name as he came.
Copyright 2013 M. Stratton
M. Stratton is a wife and mother who grew up in a small town north of Chicago before moving to Arizona. She is currently working in accounting for a plumbing company.
M. Stratton has spent years telling herself stories to fall asleep at night before deciding it was time to get them down on paper for the world to see. She currently has eight different stories fighting to be told. Like everyone else she was afraid to put the stories down and send to publishing companies. With today’s Indie market she decided now is the time.
Things you don’t know about M. Stratton:
1. She loves the movie Twister… she can say all the lines along with the actors. She will also use those lines in real life as often as possible.2. Halloween is her favorite holiday. She starts planning months in advance. She has more Halloween decorations than Christmas.
3. She once made up a monologue about her love of chocolate chip cookie dough for her high school drama class.4. There are times she thinks she is so funny she has tears running down her face while laughing at herself.5. She is a smart ass and very sarcastic.
6. Cary Grant is her favorite actor.
7. Reading has always been an escape for her. She can devour a book in hours. When she moved in with her husband she literally donated over 1,000 books and saved over 1,000 for herself. She can reread books over and over again if she loves them. There are some that she has reread about once a year for the past 20 years.8. She eloped after knowing her husband for only two months in 2006. They are still married, almost seven years later.
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