The Final FallBy: Alexa Riley
It's been two and half years since we released Taking the Fall and it's finally time! After all the begging and pleading... Viktor is finally getting his story.
We hope he's worth the wait!
“I THOUGHT he’d be here by now,” I mutter to myself, looking down at my paper. I stare at the sketch of the man who holds my thoughts and makes my heart flutter.
Letting out a breath, I close my pad, dropping it down onto the bed. The more days tick by, the more I think he’s not going to come. I know three days doesn’t seem like much time, but over the last year he’s watched me every day. From the moment I first noticed him, he’s never missed one.
He’s always in solid black, which includes his buzzed hair and his eyes, so brown they’re black. But I can never get close enough to be sure. Everything about him is dark and mysterious, but somehow it pulls me in. His face never shows emotion, and I have a need inside me to draw it out of him. The need grows every day and now it’s become a deep ache.
I watched him as he watched me and wondered where he was going and what he was doing. I knew it couldn’t be something good. One look at my mystery man and you’d know he was up to something dark.
The first time I saw him I thought maybe I was seeing things. Why would a man like him be following me? But he watched me constantly, and though it was strange, I grew to love it. I looked forward to spotting him each day.
Sometimes he would watch me all day. Once I even tested it by going to the park with my lunch and drawing pad. I lay out on a blanket and he stood off by a far wall, never moving. I swear he was utterly still. It should have scared me, but the more he watched me, the more I wanted him.
Maybe the old saying is true. Good girls really do want bad boys. But my mystery watcher is all man. Either way, to the people who know me I’m the “goodest” of them all. The girl who volunteers at the hospital. The girl who helps when anyone asks. The girl who works at the biggest church in town as the secretary to the preacher—my father.
I walk over to the window and look out at the lake. I’m also a little shocked my father hasn’t shown up here. He has to know I‘m here. I reach up and touch my cheek where he’d slapped me when he found out I was taking off for a little. He even called me a little whore and asked about my drawings of the man. I had no idea he’d seen them. I don’t know why I was shocked he’d done it.
My father rules with an iron fist, which I assume is why my mom ran off when I was little, too early for me to even remember her. I saw a picture of us once when I was digging in my father’s desk for a pen. She was holding me close, kissing my chubby cheeks. I was about three in the picture, if I had to guess. I look just like her. Blonde hair and bright green eyes. It’s clear as day we’re mother and daughter. She looked happy holding me, so I wondered why she left me behind with him.
After my mom left, I spent a lot of time with my grandparents from my father’s side. I loved it there. I would spend whole summers with them while my grandma and I cooked and Grandpa took me fishing.
As I got older my father’s church started to grow. He thought it was time I came home full time. I thought he just wanted to use me as a prop, and he did at first. Then he had me take over the church accounting.
It was bittersweet at times. I love a lot of people at the church, and getting to help those in need filled a place in my heart. But that was during the daylight. Behind closed doors, my father’s real personality came out.
He’s cold and puts me down for the smallest things. I think it’s because he’s taking more money from the church than he’s supposed to be. And he knows I know. I’d thought about saying something once, thinking maybe he’d get in trouble and I could go back to Grandma and Grandpa’s. That dream was short-lived, though, when my grandparents passed away nearly days apart. I’d been sixteen at the time.
Grandma had a heart attack one day, and Grandpa died the next. They never could ascertain the cause of his death, but I think he couldn’t live without her. They were always so in love. I looked up to that. Wanted that. I’d never felt more alone than when they passed.
What made me finally hate my father was the funeral. He spoke about how much he loved them and would miss them. He was a liar. He hated Grandpa for a reason I would never know. To me and Grandma, he was wonderful. Nothing about my father ever seemed to add up.
That’s the reason I came out here to my grandparents’ place. I needed some space. I hadn’t been here since they died and I missed it. It could be why I haven’t seen my mystery man in days. I assumed he would find his way here, just like he always finds me, but apparently, I was wrong.
▶ Also By Alexa Riley
- · Taking the Fall: The Complete Series
- · The Final Fall
- · Taking Her Turn
- · Keeping Her Warm
- · The Runaway Mail-Order Bride
- · Double The Ache
- · The Lost Slipper (Fairytale Shifter Book 3)
- · Growling for Mine
- · Taking What's His (Forced Submission Book 4)
- · Blackmailing the Virgin (An Alexa Riley Promis...