TAGLINE: Monsters are everywhere. It’s the ones we don’t see who should be feared the most.
Fairytales tell us monsters are big scary creatures that hide in the shadows. Life isn’t a fairytale, and neither are the monsters. In my story, the evildoer hides behind a screen to torment me.
When his interest escalates from messages to threats, the only way I can stay safe is to leave my life in the city and seek safety in a small mountain town. What I didn’t expect to find in Starlight Ridge is a police officer I’ve met before.
It isn’t the change in Gage Castillo’s appearance alone that has me curious. There is something in his eyes that tells me he too is seeking solace. Unlike me, I don’t think it’s a man after him but a memory.
Having Gage nearby dims the feeling of being pursued. For the first time, I am able to live my life in love and not fear. I am determined to live in my bubble of happiness … so long as my stalker doesn’t find me.
The sound of my phone vibrating sounds as loud as a blaring horn. Before I can rise, Morgan grabs the device from my side table and hands it to me.
Unknown: I hope you liked the flowers.
My breath catches and I stare at my phone and then the flowers. Morgan grabs my hand, reading the screen out loud. “I hope you liked the flowers?”
I stare at the screen, waiting for another message. My dad told me he has a new number or maybe Jeremiah is playing a joke on me. Nothing comes. There are no floating dots or indicators another message is coming.
“Soph, that’s creepy. And don’t blame my true crime obsession. An unsigned card and now a text message.”
Quickly, I type out a response.
Me: Who is this?
We watch as the three dots appear and then disappear more than once. I’m suddenly aware of every sound around me as we wait. My heart beats in my ears. Morgan’s breathing, a slight whistle coming from her nose as it does when her allergies are acting up.
Unknown: An admirer. Good night, Sophia.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
A romantic at heart, Andrea has always been a storyteller. An avid reader since a young age, she never planned to pen her own romance novel but on a whim and with no plan, she discovered her passion.
Known for her slow burn small town romances, Andrea prides herself on writing relatable characters that the reader cheers for and secondary characters who bring the sass and laughs to each story.
Settled in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and dog, she counts down the days when her adult children come home for a visit - even if that means she's doing extra laundry.