“I Watch Her Take Her Power Back” | Bonus Scene from A RISKY PROSPECT

In this bonus scene, we see the pivotal scene in A Risky Prospect from Cliff’s POV.

Spoiler Alert: This bonus scene contains spoilers from A Risky Prospect. Read at your own risk!

A work emergency—I don’t buy it. I give Olivia a head start, then I follow her. I keep several cars between us, just in case she really is going to work. I don’t want her to think I’m some kind of lovesick stalker, like Eli. But when she turns onto her street, I know for sure.

This has nothing to do with work.

I hang back, shutting off my headlight, and watch her go inside. Barely two minutes pass and she’s already mounting her bike again. Nothing is different—that I can see, anyway. Still, my gut tells me something is wrong.

So I follow her again.

She takes Spring Street, then turns onto Mallane Lane. I continue by. I don’t need to alarm her. She’s too focused, body bent forward, shoulders hunched.

Who lives on Mallane?

I circle back down Spring Street, taking a left onto Springdale Avenue. It’s the only other way to access Mallane. By the time I turn onto the road, her Street Glide is already cooling down in front of a teal house.

My pulse jumps in my throat.

I consider calling Ravage or even Donny, but there’s a slim chance this could be a client’s house. Even if it isn’t, I don’t want to step all over her toes again. That’s how we ended up here, this place where we don’t talk and I follow her like some kind of creep.

I thumb the throttle, two seconds away from leaving Mallane. This isn’t healthy. Olivia’s a grown woman. She can take care of herself. Bright white light flashes through a window—a strobe light. I frown. Nothing is adding up.

Something crashes on the second floor, shattering as it hits hard wood. It’s then I know. I have to get inside.

I shut off the bike and vault over it, barely registering whether I’ve moved the kickstand into place. My bike, the street, everything fades away, my focus solely on the house. I lunge up the steps, yank open the screen door. The front door is unlocked. I push it open and race inside, careening through a dark living room. The dim light from the street highlights a framed photo: Greg with his wild red hair, and a happy blonde bride.

This must be Greg’s house.

“Was it like this?” Olivia screams from upstairs.

I fly up the steps, hands tingling, fingers twitching for something to latch onto. I’m going to kill him, if she doesn’t first.

I hit the landing and turn toward the sound of her voice. Bright light spills from a bedroom into the hall, a beacon guiding me to her. I take a step toward the door. The blood pounding through my veins pulses even in my eyes. My vision becomes a tunnel of red.

Something thumps—a boot against a footboard, a desperate thrashing.

“Was it like this?” Olivia screams again, pain and fury breaking her voice.

My heart rockets into my throat. He’s got her, and he’ll kill her if I don’t get there now. I close the distance to the door and stop dead in the hall when I see her in the bedroom.

Olivia straddles Greg on the bed, their clothing littering the floor in a trail behind them. Her hands wrap around her neck, all of her weight pressed into his throat. He jerks underneath her, but she’s got him in the most vulnerable position a man can ever be in.

I stare as his face turns purple.

“Was it like this?” she shrieks again, tears running down her cheeks. She lets out a howl of pain, a growl of vengeance—a battle cry. Even as I gape in shock, my chest aches for her.

I’ll never know what it’s like to have survived what she survived, but I do know what it’s like to reach your limit, when you’ve had enough. When the phoenix of your broken soul rises, morphing into a beast whose thirst must be slaked. The evil of a man like Greg awakens that beast, and it won’t be stopped until its thirst is slaked.

So I watch her take her power back.

A part of me will always be shocked, knowing that the same hands that caressed me could do this. The rest of me will always be in awe.

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Photo by Maan Limburg on Unsplash

Author: Elizabeth Barone

Elizabeth Barone is an American novelist who writes contemporary romance and suspense starring strong belles who chose a different path in life. Her debut novel Sade on the Wall was a quarterfinalist in the 2012 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest. She is the author of the South of Forever series and several other books. When not writing, Elizabeth is very busy getting her latest fix of Yankee Candle, spicy Doritos chips, or whatever TV show she’s currently binging. Elizabeth lives in northwestern Connecticut with her husband, a feisty little cat, and too many books.

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