This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
Sometimes the truth cuts deeper than a lie. (Buy locations available at Davisstories.com)
- “a story full of hidden nuances and twists that keep you going OH MY GOD!” Love Romance & More - “The tension escalates until ... O ! ! story of rede"ption and a testa"ent of the ne#er-ending struggle of good and e#il.” Long and S ort Revie!s "t er boo# revie!s$ a!ards and videos available at Davisstories.com
% ere&s somet ing sus'icious going on at S'enser La#e. (eo'le are disa''earing and t eir bodies never )ound. % e )ear and uncertainty o) ! o !ill be ne*t is a))ecting every resident o) t e tran+uil community$ but es'ecially ,urt -a!#ins. %!o years a)ter is !i)e goes missing$ t ere are no clues$ only t e nig tmares o) ! at a''ened in er last moments. % e constant guilt t at some o! e !as res'onsible 'recludes any t oug t o) a normal li)e until e meets Danielle .illette$ a reclusive aut or !it a rat er large s#eleton in er o!n closet. / en t e mystery be ind t e disa''earances is revealed$ along !it t e secrets t ey&ve !it eld )rom eac ot er$ t ey discover t at so"eti"es the truth cuts deeper than a lie.
-e !al#ed 'ast t e lat mac ine to t e o'en door!ay and scanned t e em'ty all!ay beyond. Mu))led sounds$ li#e distorted voices$ emanated )rom t e end o) t e corridor. -e inc ed along t e !all$ 'ausing at eac ste'$ until e recogni0ed t e noise as a television blaring in t e distant room. -is s oulder brus ed a )ramed 'oem on t e !all. 1t 2arred loose and lea't )or t e solid oa# )loor$ but is s#ill)ul )ingers darted out and interce'ted t e unintended alarm be)ore it could signal is a''roac . -e e*amined t e cross-stitc ed !riting$ To "y $elo#ed ife% &rystal$ and grinned. -e 'laced t e )rame on t e )loor against t e !all and continued is 2ourney +uietly$ deliberately$ to!ard is ob2ective ten )eet a!ay. 3inally$ e 'eered cautiously t roug t e crac# 'rovided by t e 'artially o'ened door$ but +uic#ly 'ulled bac# ! en e sa! a s a'ely )emale tying t e re)lective laces on a 'air o) 'in# tennis s oes. -e !atc ed er 'ull long$ sil#y$ blonde air bac# into a 'onytail$ t en start a series o) stretc ing e*ercises ! ile s e 'aid 'artial attention to t e local ne!s re'ort on t e !ide screen television. The "ysterious disappearance of twenty-one-year-old !"'er &a"p'ell fro" the $randon &ollege ca"pus four "onths ago still 'affles the (ied"ont &ounty )heriff*s Depart"ent. Yesterday% + inter#iewed )heriff ,undgren regarding leads as to the wherea'outs of Ms. &a"p'ell. “)heriff% is there anything you can share a'out this case with our #iewers-. “/othing su'stanti#e. e*#e in#estigated do0ens of phone calls and potential sightings% 'ut they
; all resulted in dead ends.. “&an you speculate on the cause of her disappearance or gi#e us so"e idea as to what "ight ha#e happened-. “/othing solid. +t*s possi'le Ms. &a"p'ell was suffering fro" so"e e"otional stress% perhaps the tension of her hea#y course load% a fight with her 'oyfriend 1 who knows. e*#e seen it 'efore where a young girl runs offs and reappears "onths later in so"e other state.. “+s that what you think happened2 that she ran away-. “ e 3ust don*t know at this ti"e.. “ hat a'out her 'oyfriend% is he a suspect-. “ e*re not ruling anything out at the "o"ent.. “/o leads% only dead ends4 3ust "ore sad words for the waiting parents of a 'eautiful young girl with a pro"ising future. This is 5a"ie Da#is% local reporter for )DY% channel 67.. -is eyes loc#ed on t e s!aying motion o) er rear taunting im to reac out and stro#e t ose )eminine curves. % en somet ing 'enetrated is nose. 4ven )rom t is distance$ e sensed a s!eet )ragrance5 a )aint blend o) tangerine and lime6 er s am'oo. % e lure o) er tiny !aist and )irm buttoc#s contorting !it eac bending motion !or#ed t eir magic. -e could no longer deny is t oug ts$ or is )antasies. S e !ould resist at )irst$ !restle against is su'erior strengt . 3inally s e !ould acce't is o))ering and t ey !ould merge as one. % e vision o) er smoot $ s aved legs entangled around is !aist )looded is brain along !it t e sensation o) er muscles tig tening ! ile s e s+uee0ed and surged in r yt m !it eac t rust$ )urt er$ dee'er. % e t oug t o) it !as too muc . -e !anted er. 7o$ e needed er. Beneat im. -e needed to ta#e er com'letely and resolve t e urge racing t roug is loins. % e bu00ing in is ears and t e blood t robbing in is tem'les drummed out all reason. /it out a sound$ e edged )or!ard. 8s s e started to turn$ e reac ed out and loc#ed er tig tly around t e !aist )rom be ind$ is massive arms gri''ing li#e a vise. S e gas'ed and tried to esca'e$ but it !as useless. -is !arm and slid do!n inside t e elastic band o) er 2ogging s orts$ and t e sensation o) er cool$ smoot )les drove more blood straig t into is groin.
,urt roc#ed restlessly in t e ! ite !ic#er c air on t e bottom dec# o) is t!o-story cedar cabin. 1ts location at t e entry to 9attail 9ove o)) t e mout o) .ills 9ree# a))orded an e*'ansive vie! o) t e la#e. % e c air&s t in$ )lo!er-'atterned cus ion o))ered little com)ort to is large )rame. -e glanced at is !atc )or t e )ourt time in nearly as many minutes and s oo# is ead. + told &rystal we needed thicker cushions. /ow where the hell is she8t t e edge o) is vision$ e caug t movement to t e rig t to!ard t e main c annel. 8 'air o) mated mallards led t eir brood o) )ive$ )u00y little bro!n duc#lings in a tig t )ormation into t e cove : all e*ce't )or one straggler t!o )eet bac#. Must 'e the weakling. There*s always one in e#ery 'rood. % e 'lo' o) a lure being coa*ed across t e s allo! end o) t e cove to is le)t diverted is attention. -e !atc ed a crimson bass boat !it metallic stri'es along t e side ease 2ust outside t e bedding area o) s'a!ning largemout bass. % e )is erman tried to agitate t e male bass )rom t eir beds$ but t ey !eren&t ta#ing t e bait. ,urt #ne! t e male bass !ould ta#e a de)ensive 'osture to !arn o)) bluegills !aiting 2ust out o) reac )or t e o''ortunity to dine on t e maturing eggs laid by is mate only days earlier. ;
@ S'las < ,urt turned bac# to!ard t e line o) duc#s$ but ! ere t ere !ere )ive be)ore$ no! only )our !addled along. % e !ea#$ trailing ne!born !as gone. % e 'arents o) t e little critter ad 2ust 'aid a terrible toll )or s!imming in a la#e occu'ied by large 'redator )is li#e mus#ies and stri'ers. / ile t ey !ould never #no! t e trut about ! at ad a''ened to diminis t eir )amily$ ,urt #ne!. 1n t e s ado!s beneat t e ri''les o) small 'addling )eet$ a massive beast !it serrated teet !aited )or an o''ortunity to stri#e. % e innocence o) t e unsus'ecting morsel !as irrelevant5 t e loss to t e 'arents o) no conse+uence. % e ans!ers t ey !ould never )ind meant not ing to t e soulless devil. "nly unger and greed mattered. % ere !as no guilt$ no remorse )or its actions5 it !as driven by 'ure$ sel)-centered instinct. ,urt rubbed t e ti' o) is t umb and )ore)inger slo!ly$ deliberately$ as e considered t e irony o) ! at e ad 2ust !itnessed. "n t e sur)ace$ S'enser La#e conveyed a 'ortrait o) natural beauty$ but t e 'eace)ul surroundings !ere dece'tive. % e struggle )or li)e and deat 'layed out eac and every day$ yet t e la#e residents c ose to ignore t e brutal elements t at e*isted in t e serene vistas 2ust outside t eir 'icture !indo!s. -e com'ared t is scene to t e sad reality o) t e ine't society in ! ic e lived : an e*istence ! ere 'eo'le !ere unable to 'rotect t eir o!n and ! ere evil lur#ed in t e s ado!s$ at t e edges$ !aiting )or a c ance to consume t e unsus'ecting. -e actually s ivered at t e image o) t e 'arents o) t e young girl missing )rom Brandon 9ollege and t e slee'less nig ts t ey !ould s are$ )illed not !it ans!ers$ but !it tears. % ey$ too$ !ould never #no! t e trut about t eir o))s'ring : t e beauti)ul young girl )ull o) li)e !it a )uture unlimited by its 'otential. Did s e still e*ist= /ere er last moments too orri)ying to consider= -er 'arents must )eel el'less to reac out$ 'ull er bac#$ and save er )rom t ings t at consumed !it out a conscience or a soul. ,urt returned to t e con)used 'air o) mallards as t ey searc ed bac# and )ort )or t e duc#ling t ey !ould never )ind. -e combed is )ingers t roug is t ic# blac# air$ t en sto''ed and studied t e ands on t e dial o) is gold-toned !atc again. “S it.” % e r yt m o) is t umb and )ore)inger increased$ t e 'ressure o) s#in-on-s#in contact made a s allo! 'o''ing noise. “Damn it$ 9rystal. / ere t e ell are you=” -e reac ed )or is cell ' one on t e narro! 'lastic table at is side and 'ressed a s'eed dial button. 8)ter t e si*t ring$ a canned message began. 1n an aggravated tone$ ,urt demanded into t e mout 'iece$ “8ns!er your ' one$ 9rystal< Sto' 'laying around.” / en t e call bac# recording came on$ e slammed t e ' one s ut and smas ed t e may)ly resting on t e small drin# tray !it is )ist. % e im'act sent is al)-)ull beer bottle into t e air. % e amber container made a somersault be)ore bouncing on t e !ooden )loor. % e contents s'rayed across t e )res ly stained dec#$ )orming a trail o) cream-colored )oamy li+uid oo0ing )rom t e mout . ,urt sat trans)i*ed$ li#e a statue$ ignoring is surroundings. % e bottle rolled over t e edge o) t e 'orc $ gyrated do!n t e stee' ill and 'lo''ed into t e la#e. 1t bobbed u' and do!n$ resisting t e inevitable$ until it released a gurgling sound as it disa''eared beneat t e dar# !aters o) .ills 9ree#. ,urt 'ic#ed u' is ' one )or a second time and dialed 9rystal&s )riend. “>enny$ it&s -a!#. / en did you get bac# )rom your run t is morning= By ersel)= ?ou let er go by er : 7o$ s e&s not bac#. 1 don&t #no!$ damn it. % at&s ! y 1 called you. 7o$ 1&m leaving rig t no!.” ,urt stu))ed t e ' one in is 'oc#et$ lea'ed u'$ and raced )or is truc#. -e !as angry t at s e ad ignored im and gone a ead by ersel) a)ter s e&d 'romised never to do so again. But !orse$ e !as )rig tened : a)raid o) t e 'ossibilities$ ! at mig t ave a''ened to t e only !oman e loved$ and ad loved$ )or t e 'ast seventeen years. / ile e searc ed along S ady -ollo! Road$ images )las ed in is mind o) someone$ somet ing$ arming is !i)e. -is searc became more )rantic as e neared t e end o) er 2ogging route. S e !ouldn&t ave gone o)) t e road. 7ot even 9rystal !ould be t at cra0y a)ter t e neig bor&s dog !as )ound mauled 2ust days @
B earlier$ 'ossibly by a cougar t at ad strayed do!n )rom 8lders Mountain. S e must ave turned rig t on Ridge Lane. S e !ould be t ere$ s e ad to be$ and ! en e )ound er e !ould read er t e riot act. “9rystal$ 1&m going to literally #ic# your 'retty little ass t is time.” But t e !ords !ere a gru)) )aAade iding is real emotions5 t e a''re ension t at is !orst )ears !ere about to come true. ,urt&s truc# s+uealed in reverse do!n t e dirt road to!ard t e 'ublic boat ram' be)ore e 2er#ed t e gears i)t into drive. % e tires 'eeled onto t e as' alt in t e o''osite direction$ t is time trailing a !a#e o) bello!ing dust as e 'assed a 'ile o) tras neatly stac#ed beside t e road and eaded o)) to scream at is !i)e )or scaring t e s it out o) im again.
Danielle .illette raised er )ace to t e beginning o) a late summer day. 8 crescent o) sun struggled to 'ee# over t e ori0on and burn o)) t e remnants o) early morning mist. S'ecters in t e va'or cloud ti'toed 2ust above t e sur)ace o) t e !ater as t e )og retreated u' against t e eastern s oreline and tried to esca'e t e cleansing rays o) sunlig t. /it in moments$ t e last gray g osts iding in t e dar# recesses o) eac cove vanis ed into t e )orest cano'y. % e insects and birds o) .ills 9ree# began t eir morning serenade ! ile t e raucous cry o) a blue 2ay rang out across t e la#e in !arning to is )ello! )eat ered )riends. % e damsel)lies !ere out early t is morning. -al) a do0en darted randomly bac# and )ort 2ust above t e bac# end o) 9attail 9ove. "ne dove to!ard a s!arm o) !aterdogs sus'ended by sur)ace tension above t e la#e$ interru'ting t e ballet o) !ater insects dancing erratically along t e sur)ace. % e re)lection o) t e diving$ )our-!inged marauder trying to single out one small bug among undreds scattered t e s!arm in all directions. % is time t ey all esca'ed to un#er do!n amidst t e s!am' grass until it !as sa)e to venture out and begin t eir ballet again. Danielle smiled slig tly. S e !as t e intruder on nature&s deadly game$ not t e ot er !ay around. S e s oo# er ead$ clearing out t e cob!ebs$ as s e too# one )inal amstring stretc !it t e el' o) t e 'orc railing and t en set out on er morning ritual : a 2og along t e scenic 'at )ollo!ing t e la#e. 1t didn&t ta#e long )or er )eet to )ind t eir r yt m. Danielle ad2usted t e ear buds o) er i(od brie)ly$ umming subconsciously to t e %oby ,eit tune 'laying$ + !in*t !s Good !s + Once as. S e )ollo!ed t e inlets and outlets o) t e la#e$ glancing every no! and t en at t e 'ro)usion o) ouses : all graced !it e*'ansive 'orc es )acing t e !ater and most o) t em ostentatiously large. S e never could )igure out ! y )ol#s !ere so eager to build t e biggest structures 'ossible5 all t ose em'ty rooms le)t unoccu'ied most o) t e year ! en t e summer vacationers returned ome to t e city$ all t at unused solitary s'ace t at ad to be cleaned. Be)ore s e reali0ed it$ s e !as )lus !it t e bac# 'orc o) er best )riend&s ouse. Marina !as sitting in a silvered !ooden dec# c air5 a cu' o) co))ee in one and and a cigarette in t e ot er. S e s'otted Danielle and !aved t roug er last 'u)) o) smo#e ! ile s e too# a si' )rom er )avorite$ old$ crac#ed mug. Danielle !asn&t ready to conclude er 2og$ but s e could ardly 2ust run on 'ast as i) s e adn&t seen er )riend. S e ran in 'lace )or a )e! ste's be)ore accessing t e 'orc via a set o) stairs ascending )rom t e la#e 'at !ay u' to t e 'orc . Danielle dre! a c air u' ne*t to Marina and 'lo''ed do!n$ !i'ing a and across er de!y )ore ead and 'ulling t e buds o)) er ears. “9o))ee&s rig t t ere on t e table$ on$ el' yoursel). ?ou #no! t e routine.” Danielle 'ulled t e t ermal container closer and 'oured some o) t e steaming co))ee into an em'ty mug identical to t e one cuddled in Marina&s ands. 1t !as t ic# and o))-! ite$ devoid o) decoration$ but s'orting an intricate net!or# o) stained micro crac#s distributed across t e sur)ace. % e B
C airline crac#s in t e 'orcelain gla0e conveyed a 'attern similar to t e !rin#les and crevices in Marina&s )ace$ t e e))ect o) years o) c ain smo#ing. 4ven !it all its crac#s and stains$ its !orn and im'er)ect e*terior$ t e old cu' !as still strong and de'endable: muc li#e Marina ersel). Marina&s eyebro!s rose over t e rim o) er mug. S e 'ut do!n er cu' and emitted a lo! ! istle. “Do you see ! at 1 see= -ubba$ ubba.” Danielle&s eyes )ollo!ed er )riend&s ga0e to!ards t e la#e. 8 male s!immer !as coming u' out o) t e !ater to sit on t e edge o) Marina&s boat doc# 2ust a )e! yards do!n )rom t e 'orc . “Mari< ?ou&re married$ remember= ?ou&re not su''osed to be loo#ing at men li#e you !ant to devour t em.” % e man )lic#ed !ater )rom is longis $ dar# air and dro'lets s'rayed out into t e morning air$ brie)ly s'ar#ling against t e rising sun be)ore )alling bac# into t e la#e. -is arms !ere braced straig t against t e 'ier and Danielle could see t e clearly de)ined muscles$ long and )irm. -is bac# and s oulders !ere incredibly broad and narro!ed do!n to a )lab-less !aist ! ic disa''eared into a 'air o) s!im trun#s not muc bigger t an t e tiny 'ieces o) Lycra !orn by 'ro)essional divers. / ile is arms !ere dar#ly 'igmented$ is bac# and bice's !ere a bit lig ter$ !it a line cleanly delineating t e t!o s ades6 a ty'ical )armer&s tan. 8t t is angle$ t e s!immer&s strong 'ro)ile !as canted out )rom t e cree# to!ard t e main la#e$ but ! at Danielle could see !as rat er alluring and strangely )amiliar. -e turned slig tly to!ard a green eron s+uea#ing as it lumbered into t e air )rom across t e cove and s e suddenly recogni0ed t at )ace and ' ysi+ue. 1t !as hi". % e man s e ad seen around to!n$ u' at Rut &s 'lace$ but usually 'lanted in t e lounge c air on is dec# staring o)) in t e distance and searc ing )or somet ing t at !asn&t t ere. % e )eatures o) t is man s e ad seen t roug er binoculars )rom er o!n 'orc countless times in t e 'ast year revealed strengt and a s'irit o) con)idence$ yet t ere !as sorro! re)lected in is dar# eyes. Danielle ad to admit t at in er )riend&s ty'ical cavalier )as ion$ Marina ad assessed correctly. -e !as one ell o) a s'ecimen.
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
We've moved you to where you read on your other device.
Get the full title to continue listening from where you left off, or restart the preview.