Levi Bell can see a person’s soul just by looking into their eyes. In Monroe Poirier’s eyes, he sees the devil himself.
When Monroe moves back to the small Southern town of Malcome, Levi is repelled by the darkness of the stranger’s soul. But Levi is cursed to love things dark and wicked, and he's seduced each time he looks into Monroe’s eyes—and drawn to the swamp behind the old Poirier house.
As strange occurrences begin to happen when shadows and visions visit him in the night, Levi sees a flicker of something good in Monroe’s soul. But the need to submerge himself in the swamp’s murky waters grows stronger as Levi’s desire for Monroe becomes unbearable.
In his struggles to help Monroe save his soul, Levi will have to decide if it’s worth losing his own.
Monroe’s gaze finally snapped up and latched onto his garage. He stormed down the porch steps, taking them two at a time, and walked up to the front of the garage, barely keeping a safe distance. He stared at the burning, crumbling wood as he laced his fingers through his hair.
“One of the neighbors saw the fire,” Ward told me. “She came outside and I listened to her call the sheriff's station. The fire marshal and volunteers should be here soon.”
As if on cue, our town’s one fire truck turned and started toward us. In a matter of minutes, the volunteer fire crew, all local men, poured out and raced toward the burning garage. Monroe remained unmoving, staring into the spinning flames that were eating their way through the building.
The volunteer fire marshal slowly walked over to Monroe, patted him once on the back, and said something to him I was too far away to hear. He barely blinked, just stared at the fire.
The building was a lost cause. Most of the men focused on dousing the flames nearest the house, as to not allow it to spread. Some of the others stood there and watched it go down in flames. Townsfolk had left their houses, even during this time of night, to come watch the fire that temporarily took over the sky.
No one else said anything to Monroe, but I figured there wasn’t much to say to a man who was losing his livelihood in one hot swoop. Everyone in town knew he’d moved back with all the intention of using his garage as a small mechanic’s shop to work on cars. I hoped, for his sake, he hadn’t kept all of his tools in the garage. There hadn’t been any explosion, so I figured there at least weren’t any canisters of gasoline lying around inside.
People began talking, whispering, staring. If I hadn’t been looking at Monroe so intently, I wouldn’t have noticed the way his jaw locked or his fists clenched. I probably also wouldn’t have noticed how natural he looked with the lights of the flames casting rays on his sooty hair, or how it drew warm, beautiful colors on his handsome face.
I went to him. It felt like all I knew how to do. I didn’t know if I wanted to comfort him or yell at him for strangling me.
In the end I stood next to him. We were almost close enough that our arms touched. My closeness seemed to ease him in some way. His shoulders slumped, and he unclenched his fists.
“I’m sorry,” he said quietly.
I looked at him sideways. “Me too.”
“You weren’t the one who lit my garage on fire.”
“Maybe I was.”
He looked at me then, his expression wary. “And why would you light my garage on fire?”
“To get your attention,” I joked.
His gaze lingered on my face a moment before returning to the flames. “You wouldn’t need to start a fire to get my attention, Levi.”
I stared at him, eager for a change to play this game with him and try to ease his mind. “What would you do if I had lit your garage on fire?”
Monroe leaned in to me. His lips brushed my ear. His warm breath petted my skin. He whispered, “Then I’d have to light you on fire too.”
How badly I wanted him to. I yearned for him to swallow me whole, to whisper unclean words into my ear and bend me over the wooden railing on his porch. I wanted him to pull my hair and lick my spine and tell me all the worst things he’d ever done.
Nash Summers rarely has any idea what she’s doing. But when she likes to pretend, she pretends by writing stories at the pace of drying paint. As if that wasn’t exhilarating enough, Nash also enjoys absolute silence, general politeness, and waiting her turn in line.
Needless to say, she’s a bona fide hell raiser.
Starts August 2nd and ends August 9th. Giveaway for $15 Amazon Giftcard.
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