Razor:A Bad Boy Stepbrother Romance(6)

By: Lauren Landish

I was scared shitless — until I realized that the scratching sounds I was hearing were just the trees outside, swaying in the wind and brushing up against the windows, and the creaking sound was just the wood settling.

Silly me.

I was surprised to find myself quickly adapting to my surroundings, and I soon fell in love with my new home. It had all the basic amenities and even Internet, which meant I was set. If I could only have Henry Cavill in his superman suit, I’d be in heaven.

There was just one issue — I was barely scraping by. Clients were getting harder and harder to come by.

Hell, I even agreed to help Rosemary investigate her daughter’s murder for mere pennies when I knew I should’ve been charging her more with all the donations the woman had pouring in. Sure she had other things to take care of, but she could’ve at least paid me a fair wage. But I didn’t have much choice, so I took the job anyway.

When it came right down to it, I felt sorry for Rosemary. Her daughter had been cut down at the start of her life, never able to blossom into her full potential. In a weird way, I felt an odd connection with Ashley.

Maybe it was because . . .

It could’ve been me.

“I need a drink,” I muttered, pushing the dark thoughts away and standing up in front of my tiny desk in the corner of the living room, stretching out my arms. “Screw another cup of coffee.”

Rereading the grim details of my article had depressed me. Ashley was a pretty young woman who had her whole life ahead of her, never mind the fact that she’d been lured into the dark, soul-sucking world of prostitution.

At some point, she could’ve easily turned her life around and been any number of things.

Like an investigative reporter . . .

I let out a derisive snort at the thought and closed down my laptop. I didn’t even want to look at the article for the rest of the week. The only good thing that would come out of it, at least I hoped, was enough ad revenue to cover some of my bills.

I walked over to the fridge and opened it, searching for the bottle I kept for times like this. I’d gotten into a habit of keeping it in there — I wasn’t much of a drinker.

“Where the hell is it?” I muttered, eyeing the sparsely filled fridge that consisted of mainly breakfast stuff — a carton of eggs, and several packs of sausage and bacon. At five-foot-two, I was a mousey thing and didn’t eat much, which was a good thing. It kept my food bill down.

Finally, I found what I was looking for and snatched it out.

Humming softly, I placed it on the counter and was in the middle of standing on my tip-toes to get a glass out of the cabinet, when there was a pounding on the front door.

I paused, my pulse quickening.

Who could that be? I wondered. I didn’t get many visitors outside of my generous landlord, and he wasn’t due to stop by for another two weeks.

The pounding continued in a frantic manner.

Scared now, I made my way over to the front door. It was a sturdy thing, made of thick oak wood, so whoever was pounding at the door like a madman would need a tank to bring it down if breaking in was their intention.

For a moment, I debated going over to the window that was behind the couch and peeking out, but I quickly decided against it. Due to the porch’s layout, I wouldn’t be able to see who was standing at the front door anyway.

Of course I can just ask who it is and open the door like a normal person instead of freaking out, I thought.

Images of Ashley’s cold, lifeless body flashed before my eyes, and the continuous pounding only served to heighten my paranoia.

My eyes fell on my gun, a small little handgun I kept on the table next to the couch. Growing up, I was never a fan of them, but as a single young woman living by myself, I’d changed my tune on that one.

Moving quickly, I grabbed the gun and pressed my back against the door as the banging continued unabated.

Call me crazy, but I didn’t care if I was overreacting. I wasn’t going to take any chances.

“Who is it?” I yelled as loud as I could over the banging.

“It’s Mas . . . open . . . th . . . fucking . . . oor!”

Shit. Who?

I couldn’t quite make out the words, but the voice was male. Deep sounding. And whoever it was, was hell bent on coming in.

“I don’t know who you are, but please leave!” I yelled.

Before I shoot your ass.

“Open the fuckin’ door, Carly!”

Gathering my courage, I spun about, unlocked the door, swung it open and pointed the gun.

I readied the gun and snarled with as much venom as I could manage, “Get the fuck off my porch or I’ll blow your fucking brains out —”

My heart skipped a beat as recognition washed over me.

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