Sociopath's Revenge (Sociopath Duet #2) - V.F. Mason Page 0,1

ago, my baby fell in love with a house near the beach, and it was impossible to refuse her. I had to stay low, and no one would come looking for me here. Everybody already thought I was dead. We had a little piece of heaven here, and for the most part, I was happy. My life was good. I even had some friends in town and we were part of the community. The only downer in the whole scenario was my inability to meet my readers, who sent me constant e-mails asking if I would be present at different signings. All this was too dangerous; so every time, I had to refuse and keep my identity, in this case, a photo, a secret.

The nights held nightmares, but I learned to deal with them.

"Honey, you can't claim someone else's puppy."

"Yes, I can."

"No, you can't—" The doorbell rang loudly, stopping me midsentence, and I gestured for her to sit on the couch. "This conversation is not over." She sat down on the floor instead—thank God, it was wooden—and put the puppy, who kept on licking everything that came in contact with him, in her lap. Was he thirsty? Great, now even I started to care for the animal. As a kid, I dreamed of having a dog, but it quickly died when my parents refused to let me have one.

No. I shook my head. Memories of the past didn't belong in my new life.

Making my way to the door, my eyes wandered around the living room, appreciating the view surrounding me. The overall color theme of our home was purples and whites, while photos of Kristina and me in different stages of her life decorated the walls. The kitchen was large with a round, wooden table in the middle covered by a purple tablecloth. The windows in there faced our yard, which allowed me to always keep a close eye on Kristina.

The breakfast bar opened up to the living room, with a huge couch, two chairs, and a flat-screen TV. While the furniture was white, numerous variations of purple blankets laid over them along with purple rugs. Roses in several vases were placed around the room. Their smell calmed me. Upstairs, we had three bedrooms and two bathrooms. We had a guest bedroom but rarely did anyone stay there.

While Kristina's princess-style room had all purples, my room had the same color theme as the rest of the house. Annie, my best friend, told me I was crazy to have all the white with a small kid who made it her mission to get dirty on a daily basis. While it was the truth, I wouldn't have it any other way, and I refused to decorate my house differently. The house was our home, part of the real us, and I wanted it to be perfect.

Finally, I opened the door to a man who stood there with his back to me, and something inside me stopped.

No men came over.

Ever.

"Hello?" I asked curiously, and his shoulders tensed. He slowly turned around, and my breath hitched. For the last five years, men had been the last thing on my mind. I never dated, never wanted to date, let alone notice if anyone was handsome. The Witness Protection Program and a small child didn't exactly provide the best circumstances for dating. I hadn't sworn off relationships. Someday, I wanted to get married and to have a father figure for Kristina, but it was too soon. Plus, every man I'd met here never sparked anything inside me. They were handsome, but they somehow appeared not dominant enough for me and lacked the strong masculinity my tastes preferred.

But this stranger was nothing but manly. He was tall with broad shoulders, ripped and muscled, and I seriously had no idea a shirt could stretch so much. His face was covered with a beard and he had a shaggy haircut. The sunglasses on his face didn't allow me to see the color of his eyes, but mine didn't miss the scars around his neck, as though someone had sliced his throat open. His hands were in his back pockets as we faced each other, and an odd feeling washed over me, reminding me of the past.

Before he could answer, Kristina crashed against my leg and gazed at the stranger with interest in her eyes. The puppy followed her shortly and, to my surprise, sat down beside the man's leg.

"Lucky!" Kristina's voice held outrage.

"Lucky?" I asked dumbly.

My daughter nodded and