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Excerpt

Excerpt

Black Bird of the Gallows

I’m seriously questioning the wisdom of coming here. Who isthis boy? Who are these people? I may not want these answers. Whatever illusion I had been weaving about this being a normal family can’t be true. This is a family, yes, but one putting on an elaborate show to appear to be something they are not. “Everyday life can’t be so bad,”I say lightly, eager to change the subject before I start luring myself down a hole. “You have a beautiful home, a nice family. You’re popular at school. Kiera Shaw certainly likes you.”

He turns his gaze to me, slowly. “Kiera Shaw? You think I like her?”

“I don’t know what you like.”I don’t blink. I don’t look away. “I know only what I’ve seen.”

Reece leans close, gently entering my personal space. Close enough to put me on edge, but not close enough to intimidate. His voice is silk on gravel. His narrowed eyes glitter down at me.“And what, exactly, have you seen, Angie?”

Shivers race up my skin. I want to defuse this so badly, but I feel like this is a challenge I can’t lose. “I’ve seenand heard things that don’t make sense. Things I can’t understand.”I shift my gaze to my crow sitting on a branch above my head. It watches me with an intensity that would scare me if I wasn’t accustomed to it. “Tell me about the crows.”

He shakes his head. “Sorry. Either you know about them, or you don’t.”

My jaw tightens, even as I step toward him. I can feel his body heat. His clean, guy scent fills my senses with a unique magnetism that draws me close. Closer still. “I willfind out.”

His gaze sweeps my face, lingering on my lips. “I hope not.”His breath warms my temple, sending a shiver under my skin. “There are worse things out there than a few watchful birds.”

“Like what?”I’m breathless, damn him. My words are barely audible.

His lashes fan low over his eyes. The narrow space between us crackles with tension. “Oh Angie, you don’t want to know.”

Black Bird of the Gallows
by by Meg Kassel