Opening the French doors, Christina stepped out on the balcony. She leaned over the railings but soon realized it was too high to jump. Even though she was only on the first floor, the house was built on a hill, and the ground underneath was too far.
A quick glance around revealed one of the dogwood trees landscaping the yard had branches reaching her balcony. Without a second thought, she climbed over the railing and onto the thickest branch she could reach. Her heartbeat stuttered at the cracking noise. Determined, she steadied herself using another branch until her fingers touched the trunk. Despite the dizzy, sick feeling in her stomach, Christina held on tightly as she started climbing down.
Only a few feet from the ground, she froze at the low, vibrating growls coming from below. Not even breathing, she glanced down to see two Dobermans staring up at her.
Oh, my God! Terror washed over her. Now what? She was too weak to climb back up. As a matter of fact, she was too weak to hold on any longer. She would fall to the ground any minute, and she would be torn to pieces by those two killers growling at her. Feeling her arms letting go, she closed her eyes in panic, and a scream escaped her lips.
Right before she hit the ground, she heard a voice in the distance. A sharp pain shot through her ribs and left shoulder. She lay there in agony with her eyes tightly shut, too scared to even breath. She could feel the dogs breathing down on her, but they didn’t attack.
Someone approached, but Christina kept her eyes shut, feeling her heart thundering in her chest. When a hand touched her forehead, her eyes flew open. A man wearing a polo shirt and a pair of jeans leaned over her. He was dark and handsome, but his misty gray eyes were icy cold. While staring into those eyes, a shiver caressed her spine. He was bad news, and Christina felt the urge to flee. However, even if she managed to stand on her feet, there was nowhere to run…
His lips pressed into a thin line; the man peered down at her for a moment, which to Christina seemed like an eternity. Then he stood up. At his command, the dogs backed off, and Christina heard people running from the house. She turned and saw two men rushing toward them with guns in their hands.
“Take her back upstairs!” the one standing over her ordered in a harsh voice.
Christina swallowed hard, feeling her mouth dry. The guy watched as the two men grabbed her by the arms and violently pulled her to her feet. Then he turned around and walked toward the other side of the house with the dogs following him.
The two bullies half-carried, half-dragged her upstairs to her room and threw her on the bed. When the door closed behind them, she rolled over, hiding her face in the pillow, letting her tears from excruciating pain and fear run free...
I hope you have enjoyed this excerpt of award-winning mystery romance Dark Shadows of the Past. Keep in mind that Christina is desperately trying to conceal her real identity, and the handsome detective is fighting to protect her. But her secret won’t stay buried for long, and the truth could mean death for them both. Do you want to find out what happened to Christina?
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