Monthly Archives: September 2018

ASHES OF TEMPTATION – Now Live on Amazon!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The final instalment in the explosive Temptation series (Girl on Fire Series) is now live on Amazon!

Will Karma deliver the fate Scarlett deserves, or will it be a case of Teflon Scarlett again?

“An emotional rollercoaster that had enough twists and turns to keep me totally enthralled.” Amazon reviewer

Excerpt:

“What if the tables were turned? What if she went to prison for him, to save him, to protect him,

only to return home and find that he had quietly moved on with someone else? With someone that had

sent her to prison? With someone she believed was the enemy? Worse, when she returned, she finds that

he has sired a child with that person? Would she be justified in wanting to hurt him? Would she be justified

of wanting to kill them both?”

…………………………………………………………

PS: Sadly, my Facebook account is still locked because of the phishing attack on my account, so please follow me on

this site for updates and news on my books.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ashes of Temptation – Book Teaser 2 – by Eve Rabi

Blog 2 Ashes of Temptation 3 Sept 18.jpg
People say it’s okay to fail in life sometimes. They say it can be a stepping stone to … blah! blah! blah! They’re right.
I’ll tell you one thing you should never fail at. Murder. Oh, no, it’s one of the worst things you can possibly fail at. Especially a carefully orchestrated one. Ask anyone behind bars for attempted murder and they will tell you, that kind of failure is not an option, and it’s a stepping stone to time in prison.
In my case, my husband had an affair. That was okay – it happens. What was not okay, was him and his mistress, luring unsuspecting me to my death, burying me alive, she assuming my identity, they living a charmed life.
You feeling sorry for me? You should. Can you think of anything worse than being buried alive? No? You’re right – there isn’t anything worse than that – it’s pure hell.
It’s okay though, because they failed at murder, so they would live to regret it, because … I’m alive and I’m coming after them! Shhhh!

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

The second excerpt from Ashes of Temptation (Temptation Series):

The story continues …

Colin raises his hand to backhand her, when they are interrupted by the sound of a crying baby.

Colin, appearing startled and surprised, jerks his head to look at the baby bassinette lying next to Clover’s bed. It was covered in a sheet, so he’s somehow missed it.

With his brow furrowed, and dragging Clover with, he raises the sheet and stares at the baby, his eyes widening as he does. “We have a baby?” The question is bad enough, without the sudden excitement in his eyes.

The look on his face tells her that his mind is gauging and calculating – How can this baby be mine when I’ve been in prison for three years? His neck jerks to look at her. “Then … whose …” His eyes turn to slits.

Clover’s knees buckle with fear. He is already so angry, if she tells him the truth, what then? Will he hurt the baby?
Clover launches into survival mode. “Please, Colin,” she begs, wiping blood off her mouth. “Please, just … calm down and … and I’ll tell you. Please!”

He stares at her.

The baby continues to cry.

When Drover hears the baby cry, he slams his shoulder harder against the door. The sounds of the door slamming against the set of drawers, only serves to make the baby cry louder.

Inside the room, Clover’s begging and pleading continues. “Please, he’s so little, Colin, and he’s crying. Let me get to him. Please, I beg of you.”

He doesn’t move; he seems frozen.

“Please, he’s like Angel … like Eden, but little. Please, Colin.”
Bringing Angel and Eden’s names into the fray works – Colin’s hold on her hair relaxes. Clover darts out of his reach, quickly slips on a dressing gown, and with shaking hands, picks up her baby.

As Colin watches his wife soothe a baby that’s not his, his shoulders round. “You have a baby with him, Clover?”

She gives Colin an apologetic look.

Colin sits on the edge of the bed and mutters, “How could this be happening?”

“Colin, I’m so s … sorry. I am. I’m just so sorry.”

He stares at her in silence.

“I didn’t mean for this to happen. I’m so sorry, Colin.”

“I’m going to kill him, Clover.” His tone of voice is so matter-of-fact, Clover is suddenly covered in goose bumps. She looks at the door that threatening to burst open any moment. On one hand she wants Drover to enter the room, on the other, she is terrified of what might happened when he does.

“I promise, I am going to kill him.”
Stay calm! Stay calm! The most important thing to Clover right now, is to get the baby out of this room and to safety. Colin’s state of mind – he’s hit her and he’s threatened to kill Drover – is terrifying right now. Most of all, she is terrified he may harm the baby. She doesn’t care what he does to her; she just wants to keep the baby from harm.

“Please, Colin, the baby needs his bottle. “Please …”

Colin stares at the baby, ignoring the sound of the door being broken down, ignoring her pleas, a somewhat baffled look on his face.

“Open the fucking door, Callan!” Drover says, fear in his voice.
“Please, Colin, he’s just a little baby and he needs a feed. Please …”
After staring at her for a while, Colin gets to his feet and walks toward the door. He stands in front of the cupboard blocking the door and watches it move inch by inch with Drover’s shoving.

Clover holds her breath – will he allow her out, or won’t he?

Then, to her absolute relief, Colin pushes away the cupboard.

The door flies open and Clover rushes out with the baby in her arms, colliding with Drover in the passageway.

“Did he hurt you?” Drover demands, pushing her aside to stand in front of Colin.

With the baby in her arms, Clover tries to hold Drover back, wanting to prevent a physical confrontation between him and Colin. In her mind, Colin is not the villain here, he is the victim. She cheated on him.

“He didn’t hurt me, Drover. He didn’t!”

Drover points at her split lip. “You’re bleeding! Don’t lie to me, Love!”
“Drover, listen to me: I fell. I fell and hit the … the side of the chair when … when I got out of bed. In my haste. He didn’t hurt me.”
“That’s a lie!” Drover snarls, trying to push past her.

With her baby in her arms, she desperately tries to block his path. “Drover, stop!”

“Why were you screaming, then? Huh? He hurt you. I can tell. Step aside. NOW!”
“No!” Clover says, “I … I was just … just … I’m okay.” She thrusts the baby at Drover. “Give him a bottle of milk, please. Go!”

Drover doesn’t take the baby from Clover, and he doesn’t move.

For a few moments, they all stand in a row, Drover, Clover and Colin. Behind Drover is  Andrew, Daisy and Milton, all with shocked looks on their faces.

“Please, Drover, be part of the solution, not the problem. Please.”

Drover looks at Clover’s flushed face, at Colin’s angry one, and says, “Daisy, take the baby.”
Daisy steps forward and takes the baby off Clover.

Even though Clover is afraid right now – afraid that Colin might attack her again now that the baby is out of her arms, afraid of a physical confrontation between Colin and Drover, she  knows what she must do – calm Colin down.

She turns to him. “Colin, please … let’s go downstairs and talk.”

“Go put on some clothes!” Colin says.

That order from him, random as it is, is a startling reminder that she is still married to him. That he still believes that she is his wife.

She looks at Drover.

He has a sneer on his face.

Clover wants to put on some clothes, but she dares not leave Colin and Drover alone for a moment. Nor will she ask Colin to go into the room with her to put on some clothes.

Having no choice, Clover pulls her gown tightly around her, and in a firm voice says, “I’m okay, Colin. Let’s go downstairs.” She looks at Drover and motions for him to lead the way.

He does, and she follows him downstairs, with Colin behind her.

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*****

They stand in the living room in a triangle – Drover, Clover and Colin. A short distance away stands Milton with his arms folded. Lurking in the back of the room are Andrew and Daisy.

“Can you please give us some space?” Clover whispers to Drover.

Drover shakes his head from side to side.

“Drover, it’s okay.”
He remains where he is, a stubborn look on his face.

“Drover, please!” she begs.

“Don’t ask me that again, Love,” he snaps.

With a sigh, Clover turns to Colin. “Colin, look, I’m –”

“Whose house is this, Clover?” Colin demands. “I need the truth, you hear?”
With a nod, Clover says, “Drover’s house, I mean, Phillip. But, but … but … Colin, I live here. I rent it with our girls.”
“You rent it from him?”
“Y … yes …”

“You’re having an affair with this jerk?” Milton demands from a distance. “The one who put your husband behind bars? Huh?”
Clover glares at Milton. “You be quiet! This does not concern you. Please!”
Milton gives a mirthless chuckle. “Right.”

Clover turns back to Colin. “When did you get released, Colin? Like why? I mean, how did you get out?”

Colin doesn’t answer; he just stares at Clover, his jaw clenched, that look in his eye again that tells her that his brain is trying to process all that he’s hearing.
“Early release, four years’ probation,” Milton says in an impatient voice. “Nutshell. Your turn, Mrs. Callan.” He tilts his head at her.

Ignoring Milton, Clover looks at Colin. “Really, Colin? That’s … that’s wonder –”

“Wonderful?” Colin sneers. “Please!”

Clover looks away, her face red with embarrassment. She looks at Drover. He is glaring at Milton, a scowl on his face.

Colin looks around. “Where are my daughters?”
“Angel is at a sleepover at –”

“How convenient,” Milton says. “Get rid of the kids so you two can –”

“Mate, shut the fuck up!” Drover snarls. advancing toward Milton.

Milton quickly backs down.
“Colin, I will pick her up soon,” Clover says in a modulated voice. “They’ve had a birthday party for Arena’s daughter Savannah, yesterday. A sleepover. Slumber party. Eden is here. Asleep.” She points upstairs.

“Why do you call him Drover?” Colin demands.
Clover hesitates. Tell the truth and have Drover disbarred, or skirt the question? She chooses the latter. “Because … Colin, it’s a long story.”
Colin folds his arms and looks at Clover. “I’ve got time, and I want the truth. Everything. Every single thing!”

Clover covers her face with her hands. Every little thing. Where does she start?

Colin reaches and pulls away her hands.

“Hey!” Drover says.

Colin stands up straight and looks at Drover, a yeah?-what-you-gonna-do-about-it? look on his face.

Clover quickly flashes her palm at Drover, urging him to be quiet. She then looks pointedly at Milton.

Milton rolls his eyes, before backing out of the house, muttering something about how much his daughter is going to love this drama.
Clover turns to Colin. “O … kay.” She blows out a breath that sends her fringe fluttering. “Colin, I met Drover years ago and I had a … a relationship with him.”
“No, that can’t be.” Colin shakes his head vigorously from side to side. “You did not have a relationship with him, Clover. No!”
“I did.”
“Clover, he acted for the state, against me. He would have had to recuse himself from the case if there was something between the two of you. You would have told me about it.”
Clover chews on her lower lip, unsure what to say.

“Oh, I get it – he wanted to be involved so that he could send me away, pave the way for himself.” He nods. “It makes sense now.”
“Bullshit!” Drover says.

“I’m not talking to you!” Colin snaps, darting his finger at Colin.

“Colin, stop!” Clover cries.

“Mate …” Drover says, “don’t point your fucking finger at me!”

“Drover, please!” Clover says.
“I’m not your mate,” Colin says moving toward Drover. “So, don’t call me mate.”

Clover grabs hold of Colin’s t-shirt. “Colin, stop!”

“Or you’ll do what, mate?” Drover snarls, moving toward Colin.
“Drover, just stop!” Clover begs.

Andrew steps between the angry men and does his bit to help keep them apart.

“And don’t call her Love,” Colin says. “Her name is Clover. Clover Callan.”
With a defiant look on his face, Drover says, “Love – she’s Love to me.”
“I’ll smash your face in,” Colin says. “You wanna try me. I’ve been in prison, remember? You put me there so you could steal my family. Remember?”
“Fuck you! You put yourself there because you were a jerk to your wife. Don’t blame others. Take responsibility for your actions, man.”

The men glare at each other, both bristling with fury.

Clover is at a loss – what does she do next?

“I’m going to kill you,” Colin warns in a quiet voice.

Again, Colin’s tone of voice is matter-of-fact, an announcement, rather than a threat, brings another bout of goose bumps for Clover.

“Dad … dad … must I call the police?” Daisy asks from a distance.

Drover does not answer.
“No,” Clover mouths to Daisy. “Call Ritchie. Tell him to come quickly. Ask him to bring Bear with. Hurry!”

With a nod, a nervous Daisy makes the call.

Clover turns to Colin. “Colin, please calm down. I can explain everything. Just give me a chance to.”

Colin grabs her arm. “Explain? Explain how you visited me in prison while carrying his baby, and managed to keep it from me? Explain that, Clover?”

“Hey, take it easy,” Drover says. “Don’t manhandle her.”
“You shut your mouth!” Colin snarls. “You scum! You goddamn thief!”

“Oh, God!” Clover moans.

“Thief?” Drover’s chuckle is dry. “Who stole from their congregation, huh? Millions of dollars?”

“Drover, please!” Clover begs.

Colin moves toward Drover, his fists clenched. “Get the hell out of here! Now!”

“This is my house!” Drover says.

“Drover, please,” Clover begs, tears filling in her eyes. “I need your help here. Please?”

Drover takes in Love’s liquid eyes and simmers down. With a nod, he backs out of the room, muttering, “He better not touch you.”

As Drover turns to walk out of the living room, Colin does something Clover never thought he’d do. He lunges at Drover and punches him in the temple. Blindsided, Drover stumbles ahead and crashes into a table.

Clover screams.

Drover turns around and, boots Colin in the knee.

Colin falls to the ground.

“You threw the first punch mate,” Drover says, standing over Colin, his fists balled, his legs astride. “You start something, I’ll finish it, mate. Don’t fuck with me! Don’t FUCK with me! Especially not in my home.”

While still on the ground, Colin lashes out with his foot, slamming his boot into Drover’s ankle, sending him crashing to the ground.

Daisy and Clover’s screams fill up the quiet neighbourhood.

Just when Clover thinks it can’t get any worse, six policemen charge into the house.

“Colin’s on probation!” Clover shrieks. “Oh God!”

End of Excerpt.

Ashes of Temptation coming soon!

PS: My Facebook account is still locked because of the phishing attack on my account, so please follow me on this site for updates and news on my books.

Blog 2 image 3

 

Ashes of Temptation – Cover Reveal – a book by Eve Rabi (2nd Debut)

          

 

 

 

 

Coming soon!

I do believe that some of you couldn’t access this post, so if you haven’t been able to, here it is again!

An Excerpt from Ruins of Temptation
(Already published)

A shirtless Drover gets out of bed and stumbles downstairs, throws open the door and balks at

the sight of Colin on his doorstep, roses and teddy bears in hand.

At the sight of attorney Phillip Sterling, Colin’s smile dips. This is the man who pulled a dirty on

him. Not his favorite person.

“I think I have the wrong house,” Colin mumbles as he backs away. “Apologies.” He turns and walks down the footpath.

From the car, Milton sees the shirtless Phillip Sterling at the door. He knows Phillip – he’s the man who put his daughter away in prison. Not his favorite person either. What the hell? Maybe we have the wrong address.

“Wait!” Drover calls.

Colin stops and turns around.

“Why are you out of prison?”

“Look it up if you want to know,” Colin says in an abrupt voice, then turns to continue walking.

“Callan!”

With a sigh, Colin stops and turns around. “What do you want, Sterling? I don’t have time.”

“Wait!” Drover says. “Just a moment. Are you looking for …?”

“I’m looking for my wife. Clover Callan, remember her? My daughters? My family? Clearly, I have the wrong house.” He turns around and walks again.

“Wait! She’s here!”

Colin whirls around.

“She … this is the house,” Drover says. “She’s here.”

Colin tilts his head at Drover. “My wife is here? In this house?”

After a slight hesitation, Drover nods.

Colin squints at him. “Where?”

“Upstairs.”

Colin’s eyes sweep over Drover, taking in the fact that he is shirtless, wearing just a pair of short, looking like he’s just rolled out of bed. He turns to look at Milton, then back at Drover. “I don’t understand – is my wife living here with you?”

Drover doesn’t answer; he just stares at Colin with one hand on his head.

End of excerpt from Ruins of Temptation

The story continues in Ashes of Temptation

Excerpt from Ashes of Temptation 

Colin’s eyes flicker with confusion – if Clover is living here, if she is upstairs, why is this attorney from the public prosecutor’s office, the one who reneged on their deal, who double-crossed him and put him behind bars for seven years, shirtless and bare feet in the very same home? Colin blinks hard – Am I dreaming?

Drover blinks equally hard – how is this possible? Callan should be in prison right now – am I dreaming?

The hostility in Callan’s eyes tell him he’s may not be trapped in a bad dream after all. Drover glances upstairs, debating with himself – should he shout and warn out to Love, or go to her, whisper in her ear and bring her downstairs? He is certain Love will be equally shocked to see Colin here. Finally, he says, “Okay, look, if you wait here, I wi –”

Still clutching the two teddy bears and the bunch of roses, Colin pushes past Drover and strides into the house.

“Hey, wait in a minute!” Drover says, running after Colin.
Ignoring Drover, Colin walks around the house, sighting things that only compound his confusion – Eden’s rocking horse, Angel’s favourite blanket, a portable baby cot, Clover’s discarded jacket …

He pauses to pick up Clover’s jacket and stares at it. He was with her when she bought it. She even wore it to prison when she visited him in it.

“Look, just wait here and I will call her,” Drover says, a thread of anxiousness in his voice.

After a cursory glance at Drover, Colin pauses at the foot of the stairs and look upstairs.

Drover steps in front of Colin, blocking his path. “Wait here, and –”

Ignoring Drover and adding Clover’s jacket to the roses and teddy bears in his arms, Colin side-steps Drover and takes the stairs two at a time.

“Hold on there!” Drover yells.
Colin pokes his head into the bedrooms, looking for Clover. Even though the first bedroom is empty, it is instantly recognizable as Angel’s because of the photos of him and Angel on the wall. I’m in the right house.

He walks fast into the second bedroom, where he finds Eden fast asleep. His frown softens as he stares at his daughter that he hasn’t seen in three years.

. Fighting the urge to hug his daughter, Colin turns and almost runs out of the room in search of his wife.
When he reaches the third room, the door is shut. He flings it open and looks into the face of the woman lying in bed.

Clover.

His wife.

“Colin!” Clover cries when she sees Colin in her bedroom, clutching the teddy bears, roses and her jacket. “Wha …” The words die on her lips as she looks at Drover at the doorway, his palms turned out.

“Clover?” Colin whispers.

“I … Colin … ohmygod!” is all Clover can say, before she clamps both hands across her mouth.

With a dazed expression on his face, Colin looks at Drover, at Clover, at Drover, then again at Clover. “Wha … wha … what … Clover …” He rubs his eyes with his knuckles, “Am I … dreaming?”

Clover is speechless.

Colin stands in the middle of the bedroom, Clover’s jacket still in his hand, his eyes squinting at the tell-tale signs of a couple sharing a room – Drover’s phone and wrist watch on the bedside table, along with a half-finished bottle of water and the TV remote, the rumpled bedlinen next to Clover, Drover’s t-shirt and shoes on the floor.

Colin stares at Clover and the flimsy nightdress that shows her nipples. “I must be dreaming,” he mutters, blinking hard.

“Colin, I can explain,” Clover says, as she pulls the bedcovers over her, a move that only serves to highlight her lack of modesty, her duplicity. She opens her mouth to explain, but shock and disbelief renders her mute. Under Colin’s piercing gaze, she hangs her head.

For a while no one speaks.

Drover breaks the silence. “Look, Callan –”

Colin swings around to look at Drover. “Can you do me a favour?”

After a slight hesitation, Drover shrugs.

“There’s someone at the door. Can you let him in, please?”

“Who is it?” Drover asks, reluctant to leave Clover right now.

“My parole officer. He needs to meet … my wife.”
Drover looks at Clover, glances behind him, then at Clover again.

Relieved that his parole officer is around to may serve as a buffer to the situation, Clover’s head bobs. “Go! Let him in. Please!”

Drover too is relieved. He’s seen the car parked in his driveway, so he steps out of the room, eager to bring in the parole officer.

The moment he leaves the room, Colin flings down the jacket, the roses and the teddy bears. He slams the bedroom door shut then locks it.

Clover is startled that he would lock the door. “Colin, shouldn’t we go downstairs to meet …”

The words die on her lips when she watches Colin drag a cupboard across the door. Fear bolts through when she realizes that she is now trapped in the room with Colin. With a Colin that lured Drover out of the room, then locked the door.

The moment the door locks, Drover realizes what just happened. He rushes to open the door, slams his shoulder into it, but it won’t budge. He runs to fetch a baseball bat and slams it against the door, hoping to create a hole in it. The bat breaks on the first hit.

Inside the bedroom, when he’s sure they no one can leave, and that no one can enter, Colin turns slowly to look at Clover. “Are you living with him? Are you sleeping with him?” Colin advances toward her as he speaks, his eyes hooded, his voice low and controlled. Too controlled for a man who just caught his wife in bed with another man.

The expression in his eyes is familiar – she’d seen it just before, when he tried to strangle her at the Church of Light. When he believed she was Scarlett trying to pass herself off as Love. For days after that, she slept in a locked office with a Taser at hand, for fear he would harm her.

Clover scrambles back in bed. “Colin …I can explain …”

Colin towers over her, burly and muscular, more muscular than she’s known him to be. The cords in his neck, the twitching of his jaw, the flaring of his nostrils, augments her fear.

“Hey, open this door!” Drover shouts from outside the room. “Callan!”

Ignoring the rattling of the doorknob and Drover’s banging on the door, Colin says, “Don’t explain, just answer my question – are you living … are you, my wife … are you living with Phillip Sterling?”

Clutching the bedcovers, Clover looks away. “I … I … Colin …”

“Are you sleeping with him, CLOVER? I need to hear it from you.”

Clover doesn’t answer. Instead, she looks at the door, gauging and calculating – should she make a dash for it? She is fast on her feet, sure, but what about the cupboard?

Colin suddenly lunges at her, grabs her by the hair and drags her out of bed.

Clover’s terrified scream can be heard outside the house in the still of the morning.

“I asked you a goddam question!” he says, planting her in front of him, his bulging eyes boring into hers, his breathing erratic.

When she doesn’t answer, he jerks her toward him, slamming her into his chest. “Tell me, Clover. Tell me.”

“I … Colin… you’re hurting me, Colin!” she cries, as he holds onto her hair.

Milton, who now stands outside his car, is startled by the sound of a woman’s scream.

Realizing something is wrong, he hurries into the house and toward the sound of the screams. “Oh, shit!” he says when he sees Drover slamming his shoulder against the bedroom door.

“Call the cops!” Drover says.

Milton hesitates.

“Call the cops!” Drover repeats. My phone’s inside the room!”

Milton hesitates.

“What?” Drover demands.

“He’ll go back to jail.”
“Call the FUCKING cops!” Drover shouts.

Just then Andrew and Daisy burst into the house.

“Dad!” Daisy cries. “What’s going on?”

“Andy, help me,” Drover says. “I broke the lock, but something’s against the door.”

Inside the room, a terrified Clover tries to stay calm, even though she looks into Colin’s face, puce with rage.

“When did you start this affair?”
As Clover tries to think of an answer, a whimper escapes her.

“Answer me, CLOVER!”

She doesn’t answer, because through her terror, she knows that whatever answer she gives will be unacceptable.

Colin suddenly slaps her across the face, splitting her lip. “I’m going to kill you, Clover!”

End of Excerpt for Ashes of Temptation

Coming soon!

PS: My Facebook account is still under temporary lock due to a phishing scam, so I am unable to respond to your messages on FB. Feel free to contact me via this blog, or everabi2012@hotmail.com

Fiverr promo banner the other woman March 2018 Eve Rabi

Ashes of Temptation – by Eve Rabi – Cover Reveal

          

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Coming soon!

An Excerpt from Ruins of Temptation
(Already published)

A shirtless Drover gets out of bed and stumbles downstairs, throws open the door and balks at

the sight of Colin on his doorstep, roses and teddy bears in hand.

At the sight of attorney Phillip Sterling, Colin’s smile dips. This is the man who pulled a dirty on

him. Not his favorite person.

“I think I have the wrong house,” Colin mumbles as he backs away. “Apologies.” He turns and walks down the footpath.

From the car, Milton sees the shirtless Phillip Sterling at the door. He knows Phillip – he’s the man who put his daughter away in prison. Not his favorite person either. What the hell? Maybe we have the wrong address.

“Wait!” Drover calls.

Colin stops and turns around.

“Why are you out of prison?”

“Look it up if you want to know,” Colin says in an abrupt voice, then turns to continue walking.

“Callan!”

With a sigh, Colin stops and turns around. “What do you want, Sterling? I don’t have time.”

“Wait!” Drover says. “Just a moment. Are you looking for …?”

“I’m looking for my wife. Clover Callan, remember her? My daughters? My family? Clearly, I have the wrong house.” He turns around and walks again.

“Wait! She’s here!”

Colin whirls around.

“She … this is the house,” Drover says. “She’s here.”

Colin tilts his head at Drover. “My wife is here? In this house?”

After a slight hesitation, Drover nods.

Colin squints at him. “Where?”

“Upstairs.”

Colin’s eyes sweep over Drover, taking in the fact that he is shirtless, wearing just a pair of short, looking like he’s just rolled out of bed. He turns to look at Milton, then back at Drover. “I don’t understand – is my wife living here with you?”

Drover doesn’t answer; he just stares at Colin with one hand on his head.

End of excerpt from Ruins of Temptation

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The story continues in Ashes of Temptation

Excerpt from Ashes of Temptation 

Colin’s eyes flicker with confusion – if Clover is living here, if she is upstairs, why is this attorney from the public prosecutor’s office, the one who reneged on their deal, who double-crossed him and put him behind bars for seven years, shirtless and bare feet in the very same home? Colin blinks hard – Am I dreaming?

Drover blinks equally hard – how is this possible? Callan should be in prison right now – am I dreaming?

The hostility in Callan’s eyes tell him he’s may not be trapped in a bad dream after all. Drover glances upstairs, debating with himself – should he shout and warn out to Love, or go to her, whisper in her ear and bring her downstairs? He is certain Love will be equally shocked to see Colin here. Finally, he says, “Okay, look, if you wait here, I wi –”

Still clutching the two teddy bears and the bunch of roses, Colin pushes past Drover and strides into the house.

“Hey, wait in a minute!” Drover says, running after Colin.
Ignoring Drover, Colin walks around the house, sighting things that only compound his confusion – Eden’s rocking horse, Angel’s favourite blanket, a portable baby cot, Clover’s discarded jacket …

He pauses to pick up Clover’s jacket and stares at it. He was with her when she bought it. She even wore it to prison when she visited him in it.

“Look, just wait here and I will call her,” Drover says, a thread of anxiousness in his voice.

After a cursory glance at Drover, Colin pauses at the foot of the stairs and look upstairs.

Drover steps in front of Colin, blocking his path. “Wait here, and –”

Ignoring Drover and adding Clover’s jacket to the roses and teddy bears in his arms, Colin side-steps Drover and takes the stairs two at a time.

“Hold on there!” Drover yells.
Colin pokes his head into the bedrooms, looking for Clover. Even though the first bedroom is empty, it is instantly recognizable as Angel’s because of the photos of him and Angel on the wall. I’m in the right house.

He walks fast into the second bedroom, where he finds Eden fast asleep. His frown softens as he stares at his daughter that he hasn’t seen in three years.

. Fighting the urge to hug his daughter, Colin turns and almost runs out of the room in search of his wife.
When he reaches the third room, the door is shut. He flings it open and looks into the face of the woman lying in bed.

Clover.

His wife.

“Colin!” Clover cries when she sees Colin in her bedroom, clutching the teddy bears, roses and her jacket. “Wha …” The words die on her lips as she looks at Drover at the doorway, his palms turned out.

“Clover?” Colin whispers.

“I … Colin … ohmygod!” is all Clover can say, before she clamps both hands across her mouth.

With a dazed expression on his face, Colin looks at Drover, at Clover, at Drover, then again at Clover. “Wha … wha … what … Clover …” He rubs his eyes with his knuckles, “Am I … dreaming?”

Clover is speechless.

Colin stands in the middle of the bedroom, Clover’s jacket still in his hand, his eyes squinting at the tell-tale signs of a couple sharing a room – Drover’s phone and wrist watch on the bedside table, along with a half-finished bottle of water and the TV remote, the rumpled bedlinen next to Clover, Drover’s t-shirt and shoes on the floor.

Colin stares at Clover and the flimsy nightdress that shows her nipples. “I must be dreaming,” he mutters, blinking hard.

“Colin, I can explain,” Clover says, as she pulls the bedcovers over her, a move that only serves to highlight her lack of modesty, her duplicity. She opens her mouth to explain, but shock and disbelief renders her mute. Under Colin’s piercing gaze, she hangs her head.

For a while no one speaks.

Drover breaks the silence. “Look, Callan –”

Colin swings around to look at Drover. “Can you do me a favour?”

After a slight hesitation, Drover shrugs.

“There’s someone at the door. Can you let him in, please?”

“Who is it?” Drover asks, reluctant to leave Clover right now.

“My parole officer. He needs to meet … my wife.”
Drover looks at Clover, glances behind him, then at Clover again.

Relieved that his parole officer is around to may serve as a buffer to the situation, Clover’s head bobs. “Go! Let him in. Please!”

Drover too is relieved. He’s seen the car parked in his driveway, so he steps out of the room, eager to bring in the parole officer.

The moment he leaves the room, Colin flings down the jacket, the roses and the teddy bears. He slams the bedroom door shut then locks it.

Clover is startled that he would lock the door. “Colin, shouldn’t we go downstairs to meet …”

The words die on her lips when she watches Colin drag a cupboard across the door. Fear bolts through when she realizes that she is now trapped in the room with Colin. With a Colin that lured Drover out of the room, then locked the door.

The moment the door locks, Drover realizes what just happened. He rushes to open the door, slams his shoulder into it, but it won’t budge. He runs to fetch a baseball bat and slams it against the door, hoping to create a hole in it. The bat breaks on the first hit.

Inside the bedroom, when he’s sure they no one can leave, and that no one can enter, Colin turns slowly to look at Clover. “Are you living with him? Are you sleeping with him?” Colin advances toward her as he speaks, his eyes hooded, his voice low and controlled. Too controlled for a man who just caught his wife in bed with another man.

The expression in his eyes is familiar – she’d seen it just before, when he tried to strangle her at the Church of Light. When he believed she was Scarlett trying to pass herself off as Love. For days after that, she slept in a locked office with a Taser at hand, for fear he would harm her.

Clover scrambles back in bed. “Colin …I can explain …”

Colin towers over her, burly and muscular, more muscular than she’s known him to be. The cords in his neck, the twitching of his jaw, the flaring of his nostrils, augments her fear.

“Hey, open this door!” Drover shouts from outside the room. “Callan!”

Ignoring the rattling of the doorknob and Drover’s banging on the door, Colin says, “Don’t explain, just answer my question – are you living … are you, my wife … are you living with Phillip Sterling?”

Clutching the bedcovers, Clover looks away. “I … I … Colin …”

“Are you sleeping with him, CLOVER? I need to hear it from you.”

Clover doesn’t answer. Instead, she looks at the door, gauging and calculating – should she make a dash for it? She is fast on her feet, sure, but what about the cupboard?

Colin suddenly lunges at her, grabs her by the hair and drags her out of bed.

Clover’s terrified scream can be heard outside the house in the still of the morning.

“I asked you a goddam question!” he says, planting her in front of him, his bulging eyes boring into hers, his breathing erratic.

When she doesn’t answer, he jerks her toward him, slamming her into his chest. “Tell me, Clover. Tell me.”

“I … Colin… you’re hurting me, Colin!” she cries, as he holds onto her hair.

Milton, who now stands outside his car, is startled by the sound of a woman’s scream.

Realizing something is wrong, he hurries into the house and toward the sound of the screams. “Oh, shit!” he says when he sees Drover slamming his shoulder against the bedroom door.

“Call the cops!” Drover says.

Milton hesitates.

“Call the cops!” Drover repeats. My phone’s inside the room!”

Milton hesitates.

“What?” Drover demands.

“He’ll go back to jail.”
“Call the FUCKING cops!” Drover shouts.

Just then Andrew and Daisy burst into the house.

“Dad!” Daisy cries. “What’s going on?”

“Andy, help me,” Drover says. “I broke the lock, but something’s against the door.”

Inside the room, a terrified Clover tries to stay calm, even though she looks into Colin’s face, puce with rage.

“When did you start this affair?”
As Clover tries to think of an answer, a whimper escapes her.

“Answer me, CLOVER!”

She doesn’t answer, because through her terror, she knows that whatever answer she gives will be unacceptable.

Colin suddenly slaps her across the face, splitting her lip. “I’m going to kill you, Clover!”

End of Excerpt for Ashes of Temptation

Coming soon!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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