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Authors: Kayla Perrin

What's Done in Darkness

BOOK: What's Done in Darkness
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Table of Contents

About the Author

Copyright Page

 

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For Jennifer Enderlin.

Your infinite patience, coupled with your belief in me, mean the world.

You rock. Seriously.

 

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

The fact that you are reading this is a small miracle. I never set out to write a sequel to
We'll Never Tell
, and once all of my readers convinced me to do so, this book still almost never happened.

Writing isn't always easy. Sometimes, it's downright excruciating. I wish I could be the kind of writer who can put her personal life on a shelf, pull her sleeves up, and get to work, but it turns out I'm not. Sometimes, life gets in the way and knocks you down.

Shortly after I started writing this book, my father's health took a turn for the worst and he died of cancer. It was a devastating time in my life, and admittedly, it shook my world to the core. He was too young to be gone, my mother was now alone and heartbroken, and I simply wasn't in the mood to put pen to paper. I couldn't complete this book—for a very long time.

Despite the circumstances of my extreme writer's block, another publisher might not have been so compassionate and understanding. Another publisher might not have given me the time I needed to complete this book. But Jennifer Enderlin, who acquired the book, never pressured me. And when I turned in the book extremely late, she never made me feel bad about it. Jennifer and the entire team at St. Martin's Press have been completely supportive and nothing short of amazing. So I gratefully thank everyone at St. Martin's Press for allowing me to complete this book and making its publication a reality.

No acknowledgment would be complete without thanking my literary agent, Helen Breitwieser, who has been by my side for over a decade. Like with any relationship, there have been bumps in the road during our time together, but Helen has always been there when I needed her. She's seen me at my worst, and also at my best—and she's been there with me through it all. So with utmost gratitude, I thank Helen Breitwieser for her incredible patience and support of me and my career.

Last but not least, I have to thank you—my readers. You asked me for a follow-up book to
We'll Never Tell
. And yeah, some of you actually pestered me—ha! But if not for you, I would never have written this book. I'd never planned to write it. In fact, because my readers asked for this book so adamantly, I was able to convince my editor to agree to a sequel so many years after the fact. And I have to say, it was an absolute pleasure to delve into the world of Katrina and play around in a crazy mind.

So to my readers, thank you. Thank you for supporting my career and for your feedback. I hope you enjoy this story!

 

For nothing is hidden except to be revealed,

and nothing concealed except to be brought to light.

Mark 4:22, New English Translation

 

PROLOGUE

University at Buffalo campus

Five years ago …

 

The night air held a biting chill, and the sky was darker than usual, filled with thick black clouds that looked almost ominous. The dark masses crept toward the moon, finally covering it completely—and providing the much-craved darkness on the street thousands of miles below.

With a final look around to be certain no one was in the vicinity, Katrina Hughes said, “Let's do this.”

Going down onto her behind, Katrina lay flat on her back, then quickly slipped beneath the front of the car.

Rowena James blew hot air onto her gloved hands, trying to keep them warm as she glanced from left to right, keeping a lookout. At least there was no snow on the ground, but damn, it was cold.

The light from the flashlight came on, illuminating the ground beneath the car. Rowena suddenly felt queasy. Was this truly necessary?

“Are you sure you want to do this, Kat?” she asked. “I mean, it's not too late to change your mind.”

“Are you kidding?” came Katrina's reply. “Even the parking-lot light is out—a stroke of luck I couldn't have planned. It's fate. I
have
to do it.”

Rowena said nothing, but she wasn't entirely sure that she agreed with Katrina's reasoning. This whole tampering with Shemar's brakes … the way Rowena saw it, this was too risky.

“And of course, Shemar had his car checked out earlier today. Got the all clear for his trip.” Katrina chuckled. “The jerk won't suspect a thing.”

Rowena tried to imagine the moment when Shemar realized his brakes were shot. Maybe it would happen long before he was on the interstate. Maybe the crash wouldn't be fatal.…

“Pass me the knife,” Katrina instructed her.

Rowena bent low and placed the handle of the knife in Katrina's extended hand. “Are you even sure this will work?”

“Of course it will. I worked on plenty of cars with my dad. I know exactly what to do.”

“But how do you know the brakes won't fail while he's driving out of this parking lot?”

“Because it's about putting a tiny hole in the brake line. That way, the fluid will escape gradually—most likely when he's going full speed on the interstate—before he realizes there's a problem.”

Rowena stood slowly, glancing anxiously around the parking lot. Earlier that evening, Katrina had gotten Shemar to park in this exact location, under the guise that it was a great area to make out without prying eyes. Not that they didn't have rooms where they could get it on, but she had appealed to his sense of adventure and exhibitionism. And of course, Rowena could imagine that once Katrina had started to give Shemar a blow job in the car he stopped thinking.

Katrina's plan had already been in motion. She'd scoped out this spot and knew that it was a blind spot that the university's security cameras couldn't see.

In the distance, Rowena thought she heard a car, and tingles of fear spread through her. She bent low, saying, “Look, I was thinking … maybe we shouldn't. I mean, I don't think he'll ever—”

“That's right. He never will.” Katrina peeked her head out from under the car. “And you know why? Because he's going to be fucking dead.”

Rowena bit her inner cheek, trying not to let any emotion show on her face. But she wasn't comfortable with this. Not at all. Shemar … he hadn't been part of the plan. The others, yes, she could understand why. But Shemar …

“But what if it doesn't kill him?” Rowena asked. “He could be injured, sure. Maybe even paralyzed. But he might not die.” And the last thing they needed was for Shemar to survive—and point the finger at them. Nothing about what they were doing could be construed as heat of the moment. Any charges would be of the first-degree, pre-meditated variety.

“Shit, will you stop worrying? I know exactly how to do this. He'll crash on the interstate. He won't have a chance.”

Rowena stood tall and shifted from foot to foot, trying to keep warm. But the chill she felt was internal, and she knew it had nothing to do with the sub-zero Buffalo temperature on this brutally cold January night.

“I need you to get down here and hold the flashlight,” Katrina said.

A quick look around the parking lot confirmed for Rowena that no one was coming. Then she did as Katrina had asked, carefully lying on her stomach. Katrina passed her the flashlight, and Rowena shone it under the car.

“Angle that light a little, will you?”

She turned the flashlight in a few different directions until Katrina said, “Good. Hold it right there.”

The seconds seemed to tick by like hours. This was taking too long.

“How much longer?” Rowena asked.

“Just a moment. I want to make sure I hit the right spot. And it can't be obvious; otherwise the police will be able to see that the brake line was tampered with.”

As Rowena's eyes went back to scanning the area, she suddenly said, “Oh shit.”

“What?”

She quickly shut off the flashlight. “I think it's security or something. A car's coming!”

And in that moment, she found herself hoping that Katrina hadn't had enough time to do the deed. That the brake line remained intact and that Shemar wouldn't die.

“Maybe we should do this another time,” Rowena said, unable to hide her anxiety.

“Are you in this with me or not?” Katrina snapped. “Because if Shemar brings me down, you go down, too. Is that what you want?”

Rowena swallowed. “No. Of course not.”

“It has to be now. Shemar's leaving for Albany in the morning.”

The car sounded like it was getting closer and slowing down. Was it entering the parking lot?

“That car is in the parking lot!” Rowena said in a panicked whisper. “We've got to go!”

Katrina emerged from the car but stayed low, glancing around. Still crouched, she made her way around to the rear of the vehicle. “Okay, then let's go.”

Rowena followed her, her heart pounding. Damn it, they couldn't be spotted!

Katrina took the lead, creeping low behind the row of cars at the back of the parking lot to avoid being seen. After about thirty seconds—when they heard a car door slam shut in the distance—Katrina slowly stood to her full height. “Someone just got out of the car,” she said. “Walking away from us.”

Standing upright, Rowena followed Katrina's line of sight. About fifty feet away, a male was walking briskly toward the nearest residence building.

“We're cool,” Katrina whispered. “He's not even looking this way.”

Rowena started to jog toward the main path.

“Slow down,” Katrina told her. “Walk calmly. No need to draw attention.”

“I know. I just want to get out of here.”

“We're two friends out for a stroll. Nothing suspicious.”

Except for the fact that it was four in the morning and it was too cold for anyone in their right mind to be out on the campus grounds taking a stroll.

How did Katrina remain so calm while Rowena's heart was spazzing out?

BOOK: What's Done in Darkness
10.2Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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