IDENTITY SHIFT Excerpt 2:
The front door crashed open, the deadbolt clanging as it skidded across the floor.
Blake cursed, locking the bathroom door behind him and plunging them into darkness. Her vision quickly adjusted and she watched him move to the open window, effortlessly tearing the fly screen from its wonky frame.
He turned to her, gesturing that she hurry and climb through. “It’s a bit of a drop, but you should be fine.”
Should be fine?
She swallowed back hesitation and clambered through the opening, stifling alarm at the tell-tale creak of a floorboard just outside the bathroom door.
She closed her eyes, too scared to look below. She’d always had an unhealthy fear of heights. Add would-be murderers on the other side of the flimsy door and she grappled not to freeze with terror. Taking a breath, she gripped the sill and swung down, hanging by fingertips that threatened to give way.
Gunshot boomed and ricocheted above. She gasped, her eyes cracking open and her heart jerking crazily in her chest. Clearly there was no need for the silencer anymore. She had to jump.
She looked below. Holy shit! The ground appeared to undulate, a writhing inky sea of shadowed asphalt that was easily a twenty foot drop.
Blake jumped onto the sill in a crouch. “Go!”
She took a breath and let go, sprawling onto the ground seconds later in a bone-jarring thud. Her pulses jerking, she looked up. Blake leaped into the air, landing effortlessly on the balls of his feet with his knees bent.
For a big man he was as graceful as a cat.
A half-thought edged her consciousness for one ludicrous moment before Blake took her hand and dragged her upright.
“Are you alright?” At her nod, “Let’s go.”
They sprinted toward the end of the pitch black alley where dumpster bins cast big, menacing shadows along one side of the musty, urine-scented brick walls. Jake abruptly stilled, tugging her against him as a dark van screeched to a stop at the end of the alley, blocking their exit. “Act like lovers.” Then his mouth was covering hers, kissing her with knee-knocking, nerve-awakening skill.
This isn’t real…this isn’t real.
And yet the funeral, the adrenaline and danger of being hunted like criminals, somehow, impossibly, it all faded as his citrus and spice scent teased and beckoned, his arms encompassing her like a warm blanket as the tip of his tongue parted her lips.
She felt safe, secure—like all the bad stuff in her life was no more.
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