"Cold As Ice"

“Oh my God, this is not happening,” Amber shrieked. She began tugging at her bound hands but his grip held fast. “You don’t understand, I can’t stay here.”

Marc grabbed her cuffed hands and pulled her toward him. “Then enlighten me,” he said, irritation all over his hard face. “I don’t like to be made a fool of and you’ve done nothing but that since we’ve met.”

Amber looked at him in confusion. She’d been nothing but polite to the insensitive jerk, knowing full well he didn’t like her much. Maybe if she told him what had just happened he would help her. The unconscious man in her kitchen should be proof enough that she wasn’t playing anyone for a fool.

“He’s in the kitchen.” Her voice was so calm she might as well told him there were cookies in the kitchen.


“The guy who attacked me,” she explained patiently.

He gave her a strange look and without another word pulled her towards the kitchen.

But instead of the validation she’d expected, Amber was dumbfounded. The blonde haired maniac she’d thought she killed was no longer lying on the tiled kitchen floor. In fact the kitchen appeared perfectly intact as if nothing had ever happen.

Marc turned to her, his dark eyes becoming as cold as ice.

She could practically read his thoughts and quickly rushed out, “He was right here, I swear!”

She quickly described to him the short blonde man who broke into her home and tried to attack her. She told him about the false air-conditioning sale, the missing knife, the heavy grill pan, her overwhelming fear when she’d thought she’d killed him.

Amber knew it was a long shot but she have to try. She had to make him believe her. But the look in his eyes told her she might as well wish for the moon.

“And I guess he just flew out the window?”

“Yeah, I guess so,” she snapped.

“That's not possible,” he snapped back. “No one with that kind of injury could climb out of that narrow window,” he said, jerking his head toward it.

Then he paused and glanced back at it. Something must’ve caught his attention because he released her and quickly walked over to it. He pushed back the curtain and she could see the smeared blood on the window sill from where she stood. She hadn’t noticed it before because the curtain had done a good job covering it.

He must have eyes of an eagle because no regular human would have spotted that. He turned back to where she stood frozen, studying her with those piercing dark eyes of his.

“I think it’s time you told me what’s really going on.”

“I told you, I–”

“We both know he wasn’t here to buy a goddamn air conditioner and this is all too strange to be the work of a common thug so start telling me the truth.”

Amber began to shake her head.

“I know your brother called you last night. And I think you know more than you’re letting on.”

Amber fumbled for a second. She couldn’t tell him about Austen’s message, about her plans to get as far away from California as she could.

He must have read her thoughts because he quickly walked over to her and grabbed her arm as if to keep her from fleeing.

“Tell me.”

His whispered request almost made her undoing. Almost. “I… I can’t.”