There may only be one killer, but no one is innocent in this new young adult thriller from Natasha Preston, author of The Cellar, a New York Times Bestseller, and Awake
They think they’re invincible.
They think they can do and say whatever they want.
They think there are no consequences.
They’ve left me no choice.
It’s time for them to pay for their sins.
A weekend partying at a remote cabin is just what Mackenzie needs. She can’t wait to let loose with her friends. But a crazy night of fun leaves two of them dead—murdered.
With no signs of a forced entry or struggle, suspicion turns to the five survivors. Someone isn’t telling the truth. And Mackenzie’s first mistake? Assuming the killing is over…
The most annoying part was Blake, a guy I’d known for two sodding seconds, recognized that more than my friends and family. OK, so he didn’t know what had happened, but he knew there was something I was hiding. If I could help it, he would never learn what that was.
“I don’t know specifics, but you’ve got frustrated–teen tattooed all over yourself.”
“And what have you got tattooed over yourself ?” Arrogant arse was my guess.
“The Japanese rising sun.”
He pulled up his T–shirt sleeve, revealing a black tattoo of half a sun.
Oh, he was talking literally. “What does it stand for?”
“No idea. Just liked it.”
“Well, I think it’s cool,” I said.
Chuckling to himself, he walked deeper into the forest. The trees were a bright, crisp green and leaves blew softly in the light wind as we walked. It was cooler under the trees, and since England was going strong with the heat wave, it was welcome.
“You’ve known the others for years?” he asked as I jogged to catch up with him again.
“Kyle and Aaron didn’t seem that happy about me crashing your weekend. Megan either, actually.”
I shrugged. “They’re cool. They just liked the dynamic we had pre–Josh–and–Courtney best. They can be kind of protective, Aaron especially. That guy would literally do anything for his friends. He’d take a bullet for us. Not that I wouldn’t. Once a guy grabbed my arse after I refused a dance and Aaron knocked him out cold.”
“He sounds more psychotic than protective, but put whatever label you want on it.”
“I will,” I replied, narrowing my eyes. I could handle Blake’s theories about me. What I didn’t like was his speaking badly of my friends.
“So, tell me. A group as close as you lot…”
I knew where that was going. “Not me. Josh and Courtney, as you know. Aaron and Tilly had an on/off relationship.”
“You never? Not even once?”
“Nope. Girls and guys can be just friends, you know.”
“Sure, just seems odd. I’ve been around groups of friends, and there’s always a few who have had drunken sex. Or at least gotten their hands busy.”
Oh, that’s lovely. “Sorry. No dirt here.” Not that kind anyway.
“Wow, Kenzie, you lot really are as straight as they come. You plan some board games for this evening?”
“No, of course not! Sorry, we’re so boring, Mr. Excitement. What do you do for fun anyway?”
He whipped around. His eyes were wide and hungry as he grabbed my wrists and pushed me against a tree, trapping me with his entire body. I was stunned. My body wanted to arch into him. I wanted to feel his skin against mine, his tongue in my mouth, his breath on my neck.
Get. A. Grip. Mackenzie.
What was going on with me? I’d never had this kind of chemistry so quickly with someone. Actually, I’d never had this much chemistry with someone else at all. It was his fault. Blake’s outrageously good looks and air of mystery short–circuited my brain, and I had to force myself to stay focused. My legs turned to jelly, and if it wasn’t for him holding me up, I’d be on the floor.
Forcing myself to get it together, I swallowed, my throat like the Sahara, and whispered, “Sex is the only fun you have?” His body pressed against mine a little bit harder, and I stifled a moan. I could feel the hard muscles of his chest. Stop. It.
“No. Sex is the most fun I have.” His eyes, now on fire, looked right through me, to the secrets I hid away. Still, he stayed pressed against me, his jaw tight, as if he was finding it hard to hold back.
I can’t be doing this right now. Or at all. I wasn’t the person that instantly wanted someone. I had to build up to that, get to know them first, but Blake made me want to throw all my rules out of the window. Rules I had worked very hard to keep.
He suddenly pulled away from me. My knees felt weak. Gripping the tree, I barely managed to keep myself upright. “What?” I asked, shaking my head to clear the fog of confusion and lust that had swept over me.
“What’re the odds of you freaking afterward?”
“High,” I replied. Having sex in the middle of the forest with Josh’s brother, who I’d only met today, was a terrible idea. I couldn’t quite get that through to my racing pulse and overheated body though. “Thought so. Come on. I’ll show you where I shoved Josh in the river and broke his arm.”
What? One minute the guy was all over me, and the next, he was playing tour guide?
I took a deep breath to get my thoughts together and stop being an idiot around him. “You broke his arm?” I asked, running again to catch up with him.
“Accidentally.” He smirked. “I’m not a sociopath.”