Darkness Becomes Her (Gods & Monsters #1) Life Expectancy

I feel emotion rush me—the intimacy, the awkwardness. I want to revolt against it, but I don’t. It takes an awful toll on a person to fight down everything they’re feeling. Elgin tried to tell me that once. The bitch.

I walk to the library and search for the ad on Craigslist with Doyle’s phone number. It’s gone; however, if my suspicions are correct, it shouldn’t be long before another pops up just like it. Probably with a new number that Doyle has acquired. A pay-by-the-minute phone bought at a gas station. There will be a new name on the ad. I find the number from the ad scrawled on a piece of paper in my wallet, but when I use my new phone to make the call, it rings and rings until I finally hang up. My situation becomes more discouraging as the library announces it will be closing in five minutes.Back into the rain, back into the march of people who know where they’re going. I make my way toward the apartment building eight blocks away. The cold is locking into my joints, and I have a headache. When I realize that I haven’t eaten all day, I buy a bowl of noodles from a food truck and carry it with me to the apartment building where Doyle stole my money. I sit on a bench across the street and watch the entrance. The food falls to my belly, but I don’t taste it. This is what happens; everything becomes black and white. I see only injustice. The man who chose the moniker Doyle, who will continue to prey on the innocent, must be held accountable. The building looks different without the glow of hope around it, dingy and mean-looking. I walk to the front of the building and stare up at the oppressive, little windows. Doyle had opened the main door with a keycard that he pulled out of his wallet. He had access to the building, which means he either already lives here, or he had pulled his scam before and somehow managed to get keys to the empty apartments. He can be anything from a maintenance man, to a friend of the real owner’s. I sit for a while longer to look up at what was almost mine. It’s all right. I’ll wait. When the time is right, Doyle will repay me—one way or another.

Empire of Storms (Throne of Glass #5)

THERE IS AN APARTMENT FOR RENT across the street from the building where I was supposed to live. The landlord takes me up four flights of stairs because the elevator is broken. The stairwell smells like piss, the rent is more expensive, the apartment more dingy, but the light is better. From my living room window, I have a straight on view of Doyle’s building. I take it. Not because I can afford it, but because I can’t afford not to have it. I can move in in a week. I sleep in my Jeep in the meantime, a sweatshirt rolled beneath my head, not wanting to waste money on a hotel. I sneak into a fitness center and use their shower a couple of times, promising myself that one day I’ll get a membership to make it up to them. During the day, I wander the streets of Seattle—Pike Place Market, the pier. I take the ferry to Bainbridge Island; I ride the elevator to the top of the Space Needle. I eat in a restaurant that has thousands of oysters piled into icy silver bins. When I pour the silver meat into my mouth, I can taste the ocean. I’m instantly hooked. I’ve never seen the ocean, but on the banks of the Sound and in the exotic, salty meat of an oyster, I can taste it. I sit on the bench outside of Doyle’s building and watch for him. I write everything I spend in a notebook, so I know how much I have left.Loaf of bread and peanut butter: $4.76Socks and shampoo: $7.40

Blood Solstice (The Tale of Lunarmorte #3)

Aspirin and milk: $6.89This week I spent 137.50. Try to spend less next week! I write in the margin of the notebook.

I think of the places I’d take Judah if he were with me: to the market, and across the Sound on a ferry, a stroll on Bainbridge Island, a lunch at my favorite oyster bar. I call him once, but hang up when I hear his voice. I don’t know what to say to him, and I’m afraid he doesn’t miss me. When the day arrives for me to pick up my keys, I carry myself into the rental office, sure something will happen. They will decide I’m not good enough to live there, they’ll find out I killed a woman and burned her body, they’ll know what I am and send me to prison instead. When the landlord sees me, he exclaims, It looks like you’re here to identify a body, not pick up your keys! I laugh at the irony and relax. If he’s in this good of a mood, he’s not prepping to tell me that I won’t be moving in today. In the end, the landlord hands me my keys and shakes my hand, congratulating me on my new home.

Kady nods, then says, You take classes. At UW.He stares intently into my eyes, and motions for the stairs. A few weeks ago we were burning everything we could. There is no way this could have escaped our fire. I lean on my crutch as I hobble for the stairs. I want to scream at how long it takes to make it to the bottom. I look around. I haven’t seen this part of the house since I broke my leg. I have a need to walk around, touch things, but Isaac pushes me toward the door.

It’s dark outside. So cold. I shiver.I can’t see anything, Isaac.

The Arrangement 14 (The Arrangement #14)

My foot is about to sink into the snow when my cast hits something.They never found the man who raped me. There was never another report of a rape in those woods, or any woods in Washington. The police said it was an isolated incident. With blithe nonchalance, they told me that he had probably been watching me for a while and possibly followed me into the woods. They used words like intent and stalker. I’d had those before: letters, e-mails, FaceBook messages that went from high praise to intense anger when I didn’t respond. None of them were men. None threatening enough to concern me. None with the tone of a rapist, or a sadist, or a kidnapper. Just angry moms who wanted something from me—recognition maybe.

But there was something I never told the police about the day I was raped. Even when they pressed me for more details. I couldn’t bring myself to say it.No, I didn’t see his face.

No, he didn’t have tattoos or scars.No, he didn’t say anything to me…

The truth was that he did speak to me. Or perhaps he just spoke. To God, to the air, to himself, or perhaps to some person who abandoned him. I can still hear his voice. I hear it when I sleep, whispering in my ear and I wake up screaming. From the moment he started to the moment he finished, he chanted one thing over and over.It was an omission. Maybe he got away because of it. Maybe another woman will be raped because I could have done more. But in that moment, when you’ve been violated, your soul darkened for no reason other than someone’s sadistic cruelty, you’re only thinking about your survival.

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