Penelope Douglas
Dark | Erotica | Contemporary Romance
November 17, 2015
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As the Page

I was told that
dreams were our heart’s desires. My nightmares, however, became my
His name is Michael Crist.
My boyfriend’s older
brother is like that scary movie that you peek through your hand to watch. He is
handsome, strong, and completely terrifying. The star of his college’s basketball
team and now gone pro, he’s more concerned with the dirt on his shoe than
But I noticed
I saw him. I heard him. The things that he did, and the deeds that he hid

For years, I bit my nails,
unable to look away.
Now, I’ve graduated high school and moved on to college, but I haven’t stopped watching Michael. He’s bad, and the dirt I’ve seen isn’t content to stay in my head
Because he’s finally
noticed me.
Her name is Erika
Fane, but everyone calls her Rika.
My brother’s girlfriend grew up hanging around my house and is always at our
dinner table. She looks down when I enter a room and stills when I am close. I can always feel the fear rolling off of her, and while I haven’t had her body, I know that I have her mind. That’s all I really want anyway.
Until my brother
leaves for the military, and I find Rika alone at college.
In my city.
The opportunity is too good to be true as well as the timing. Because you see, three years ago she put a few of my high school friends in prison, and now they’re out.
We’ve waited. We’ve been patient. And now every last one of her nightmares will cometrue.


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I enjoyed the fright of not knowing what was coming and from where.
“When we used to wear the masks,” Michael said, dropping his voice to a
near whisper, “you liked it, didn’t you? It scared you, but it turned you on.”
I raised my hesitant eyes and tried not to let out a laugh. What was I supposed to say? That the fact that they’d looked like monsters got me hot?
I shook my head clear and stood up, saying in a quiet voice. “I’m going to bed.”
I grabbed my phone and took a step, but Michael’s voice stopped me.
“Come here,” he said softly.
I turned my head, narrowing my eyes.
Come here?
He sat up, resting his forearms on his knees and waiting, while I shifted on my feet.
He was always playing games. I didn’t trust him.
But the temptation to engage was too great. He was right. I was getting good at it, and I kind of liked it, too.
I took slow steps, holding up my chin to steel myself.
When I reached him, he placed a hand on my hip and pulled me in between his legs. I gasped as he fell back against the sofa again, pulling me in with him. I
shot my hands out, planting them on both sides of his head on the back of the
couch, keeping myself upright as I leaned into him. “Say it,” he breathed out, holding my hips with both hands now. “It turned you on.”
I closed my mouth and shook my head, looking down at him with a
“I know it did,” he maintained, a fire in his eyes.
“Did you think I couldn’t see how tense your body would get or how your nipples got hard through your shirt when you saw me wearing it? You’re a little twisted. Admit it.”
I folded my lips between my teeth, turning my head away. But then he tipped his chin up and caught my nipple between his teeth through my tank top, and I closed my eyes, letting out a small cry.
Oh, God! The heat of his mouth swooped into my stomach as he released my nipple
and then snatched it up again, dragging it out between his teeth.
“I’ve got the mask upstairs,” he taunted, kissing and nibbling on me through
my shirt. “I can get it if you want me to.”
No, I wasn’t like that.
I pushed away from him, but he held me firm.
“Michael, let me go.”
But then I felt my phone vibrate in my hand, and I quickly glanced at the screen, seeing no name with the number. Reading the number, though, I
noticed that it was his mother’s.
That’s strange. I thought I had her number saved in my Contacts.
But I let it go, remembering that my mom was with her. I needed to take this call.
Planting my fists on Michael
’s chest, I shoved him away.
“Get off me. Your mom’s calling.”
All he did was laugh, though, and my face fell.

He grabbed my arm and threw me down onto my stomach and came down on my back, pinning me to the couch.
I breathed hard and fast, feeling his cock press against my ass as he snatched my phone out of my hand.
I stared wide-eyed as he placed it a few inches in front of me, his finger
hovering over the green Answer button.
“Michael, no,” I rushed out, panic making my lungs ache.
But he swiped the screen anyway. The ringing stopped, and I heard
silenceas she waited for me to say something.
“Say hi,” he whispered in my ear.




I was lucky enough to receive an arc of this book and wow, just wow. I had been in a bit of a reading slump before this book hit my kindle. When I saw that I got it I couldn’t start reading it fast enough. I’ve loved Penelope’s writing since I first read Bully. I couldn’t wait to see where Penelope’s foray into the dark side would lead and she didn’t disappoint. I liked how the story went back and forth between past and present. With some books that can be a turn off because it ends up being choppy. In this case it blended smoothly and it gave us glimpses as to where these characters came from and where they were heading. I was drawn to Erika (Rika) and how she was determined to make her own way and gain some independence. Even though she seemed fairly naive, she was curious and smart and pretty observant. Which helped her keep up and be able to play along with Michael and the Horsemen. Michael, oh man where do I start with him. Such a strong, tortured soul, someone trying to make his way on his own. Torn between doing the right thing and having his friends backs. The combo of Rika and Michael and their personalities made for some off the charts chemistry. I was on the edge of my seat trying to figure out all the twists and turns and the motives behind it all. Would it go to far, would Rika figure it out or Michael stop it? As for the side characters I can’t say enough except that I want their stories, I want to get to know them more. Penelope does such a good job filling out her characters and their personalities that you want more of them. That you end up begging her to write these characters stories. For me it was Kai that I wanted to get more of. Don’t get me wrong I’m all about Michael and Rika and their story. But Kai, man was I drawn to him from the start. Penelope Douglas is one of my top favorite authors and I am happy to keep following her career and go along on whatever ride she chooses as her next story. I have been recommending this book all over the place as well as gifting copies to friends. I wish that I could experience this book for the first time again it was that good. Oh and that reading slump I was in this book got me out of it.


Deleted Scene

*This scene was cut from Chapter 8. In the final cut, Rika goes up to her room, changes clothes, and leaves the house. In the original cut, there’s a confrontation in her bedroom before she leaves.

“Stay away from her,” he ordered. I let my eyes fall closed as I tipped my chin down. Embarrassment heated my cheeks, and I could feel everyone’s eyes on me.
Jesus, Trevor. No one said anything for a few moments, but judging from the silence and lack of movement as I stared at my plate, everyone was waiting for Michael.
“Who?” I finally heard him ask.
And I swallowed, hearing a couple of quiet laughs go off around the table.
“Rika,” Trevor growled. “She’s mine.”
I heard Michael breathe out a laugh, and out of the corner of my eye I saw him push back his chair and stand up. He tossed down his napkin on his plate and grabbed the carton of milk.
“Who?” he asked again.
Will bowed his head, laughing louder this time as his body shook. I looked up, seeing Damon, smiling wide and looking smug.
I wanted to fold into myself and disappear forever. I must’ve been amusing today. A momentary distraction, and now it was back to being nothing but something to sidestep as we passed each other in the house.
My skin burned.
Trevor’s anger radiated, and I stared ahead while they all got up from their chairs, laughing and gloating as they followed Michael out of the dining room.
I wasn’t sure who I was most angry with: Trevor or them. At least Trevor would fight for me. Had I expected Michael to when his brother challenged him just now?
I didn’t know what I thought.
I wanted him to. He finally saw me today in the catacombs, but now it was as if it’d never happened.
No. Michael wasn’t the type. He would never fight for anything but himself.
Trevor sat down, hard breaths pouring in and out through his nose.
I pushed my plate away, no longer hungry. “Trevor…” I started, feeling guilty, but I didn’t know what else to do with him.
I’m not yours,” I told him. “I’m not anyone’s.”
“You’d fuck him in a heartbeat if he looked at you twice.”
I scowled, hardening my jaw. I was getting sick of being pushed around.
Shoving back my chair, I bolted up and stormed out of the dining room.
My eyes burning with anger, I charged across the foyer, noticing the door leading to the garage open. I glanced up, seeing Michael toss a black duffell to Kai who stowed it in the G-class.
He turned his hooded eyes on me but then immediately dropped them, carrying on with loading his car as if I weren’t there.
I jogged up the stairs and powered down the hallway to my room. Slamming the door closed behind me, I breathed hard, shaking and finally letting my face crack. I ran my fingers over the top of my head, through my hair, and folded my lips between my teeth, so I wouldn’t cry.
I needed to go home. The Crist house, once my haven, full of noise and laughter, now felt like a cage. Trevor constantly pursued me, and the one person whose attention I did want barely noticed me. I had to fend off one brother while putting up a front of indifference with the other, and I wanted to have some fun.
Noah. And Claudia. I’d go home and spend some time with my mom and then call them for a night out.
Slipping off my flats and tearing off my uniform, I opened a dresser drawer and dug out some clothes I kept here. I unhooked my bra, discarding it on the floor, wanting to rid myself of anything annoying. My patience was dried up.
My skin crawled, and I heaved a sigh, wanting to scream my fucking lungs off.
Assholes. All of them.
Pulling on the gray tank top over my bare breasts, I slid my legs into a pair of tight jeans and tucked my hair behind my ear, suddenly feeling a little better. The cotton tank had a built-in shelf—thankfully, since my breasts were too big to go without any support—and the jeans stretched with my body.
“Looks like I missed the good part.”
I looked up from buttoning my jeans and saw Trevor walking into my room, closing the door behind him.
“What are you doing?” I asked, seeing his eyes scale down my body.
Trevor had touched me before, and we’d even made out a few times when I tried giving us a chance, but I’d always been straight with him. I didn’t feel what he did.
He stalked slowly toward me, looking like he’d calmed down since being downstairs.
“Just give me a chance,” he asked, speaking softly. “I want you so much.”
He reached out, taking the back of my neck and bringing me into his body.
“Trevor,” I protested, trying to be gentle, because I hated hurting his feelings.
“Just a chance, Rika,” he pleaded.
He backed me up to the bed and cupped my ass in both hands, pressing me into him. “Feel me. Close your eyes and feel me. That’s all I ask.”
He captured my mouth, moving fast and hard over my lips and instantly slipping his tongue in. He moaned, and I immediately pressed my hands against his chest, trying to twist away.
“Trevor,” I grunted.
No. I couldn’t do this.
But he pushed me down on the bed, anyway, and I dropped my hands behind me to catch myself.
“Come on.” He came down on me, breathing hard with lust in his eyes. “You know I love you.”
He buried his lips in my neck and grinded between my legs. “God, you’re so hot,” he whispered, and heat covered my skin as he pulled down one side of my tank top, exposing my breast.
“Trevor, no,” I fought, tears stuck in my throat. “Get off me!”
“Please, Rika.” Desperation thickened his voice. “Just a chance.”
I pushed at his chest, but every time I got him an inch off my body, he came right back down.
He dove for my nipple, and my stomach rolled, feeling the heat of his mouth and teeth tugging at my flesh.
“Trevor! No!”
I didn’t think. I brought up hand and slapped him, his head jerking to the side with my blow. “Get off me!”
He stopped and brought his head up, glaring down at me, fury reddening his face. I winced, scared of what he was going to do.
But I didn’t have a chance to find out. My bedroom door swung open, the knob bouncing off the wall as it hit.
“Michael wants to talk to you,” a deep voice said, coming from behind Trevor.
I yanked my shirt back up and pushed Trevor off me.
Kai stood leaning against the doorframe with his arms crossed over his chest, while Damon hung around the corner, looking amused at what he saw.
Trevor stood up, finally looking over his shoulder. “Fuck you. Get out of here.”
Michael never needed to talk to Trevor about anything, but that didn’t mean I wasn’t grateful for the interruption.
I took my chance, jumping off the bed to get away from him.
Damon stepped into the room, staring at Trevor. “Get your ass downstairs,” he ordered. “Now.”
Trevor’s back instantly straightened. Most people did what Kai told them to do.
But everyone did what Damon told them to.
Trevor let out an angry breath and didn’t even look at me as he barreled out of the room. Damon smirked, raising his eyes to me once before following Trevor.
Kai pushed off the doorframe, straightening. “Michael wants you to go home,” he told me.
I narrowed my eyes. Since when did Michael give a shit what I did?
Fuck it. I charged over to the closet and grabbed the black hoodie, yanking it off the hanger and walking for the door. I’d wanted to go home anyway.
But Kai blocked the doorway and made no move to let me through.
I dug in my eyebrows, glaring up at him. “If he wants me gone, then let me leave.”
His eyelids thinned as he studied me, and it looked like he wanted to smile. Taking out his hand from under his crossed arms, he reached over and hooked the strap of my tank top with his finger, dragging it back up to my shoulder from where it had fallen on my arm.
Chills spread over my skin at his touch, and I faltered when he continued to stare down at me.
Finally moving aside, he let me leave, and I charged down the hallway, slipping on my sweatshirt.
What the hell was that?


Penelope Douglas is the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of the Fall Away series. She dresses for autumn year round, loves anything lemon flavored, and believes there is too much
blood in her Coca Cola stream. Or too much Coca Cola in her blood stream. Or
You know what? It doesn’t matter. She loves Coke. Now you know. She lives in Las Vegas with her husband and daughter.


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