Pub. Date: November 1, 2016
Secrets. Obsession. Murder. Victoria is about to discover just how dangerous it can be to lose yourself.
Victoria Zell doesn’t fit in, but she’s okay with that. All she needs is the company of her equally oddball boyfriend, Andrew. She doesn’t care what anyone else thinks…until magnetic, charming, mysterious Z comes into her life, and she starts lying to everyone she knows in an effort to unravel his secrets.
And then something terrible happens. Someone is dead and it’s time for Victoria to come clean. Interspersed with news clippings and police interviews, Victoria tells her story to Andrew, revealing her dark, horrible secrets…secrets that have finally come back to haunt her.Leary’s old enough to be a grandfather, yet acts like a kid. His desk is crowded with Batman figurines and smiley-face pencils. He always bakes—cookies and sweet breads and stuff—and he brings them in to share, so his office usually smells of cinnamon. Still, it always kind of freaked me out that he’s, you know, a man of God. Other students didn’t seem to censor themselves around him, but I always felt like I had to watch what I said or he’d strike me down with his divine power. It was the same thing, week after week. He asked me question after question, to which I would provide the shortest and vaguest answers possible.
When I sat down in my usual chair, farthest away from him, he offered me a plate of sugar cookies and asked, “So, Victoria, how was your summer?”
I told him it was uneventful, as my summers usually were.
“Good, good,” he replied. He’s big on repeating positives. “How have things been going for you this year?”
“Fine,” I told him, staring at the crucifix on the wall behind him. Even Jesus looked like he was rolling his eyes at Father. “I’m good.”
“Well, that’s good. You’re fitting in OK? Classes good?”
I smiled. “Everything’s great.”
I nodded. “I have a few.”
He leaned forward. “Tell me, do you keep in touch with your friends from your old school?”
“No,” I told him. I had a couple of acquaintances at Duchess High, but no one worth keeping in touch with. From the way he grimaced, I knew it was the wrong answer. “I don’t need a bazillion friends though. I mean, I have Andrew.”
Leary didn’t look at me. He was busy plucking some dust off the knee of his black slacks. “Tell me about Andrew.”
I sighed so deeply that Father Leary’s gaze rose to mine. But seriously, had he forgotten? I talked about you nonstop last year, since you’re not only my boyfriend, you’re my best friend. I swear, I’ve probably told him your favorite color and what you eat for breakfast, like, twice. I think Jesus groaned behind him. “What do you want to know?”
He frowned. “What would you like to share?”
“There’s nothing to tell. He still lives next door, still is studying his music.”
And on and on we went, having the same conversation that we’d had every week last year. As if asking incessant questions about my life and making me repeat myself time and again is supposed to be therapeutic. I mean, isn’t that the definition of insanity, repeating oneself and expecting different results?Cyn Balog is the author of the young adult paranormal novels FAIRY TALE, SLEEPLESS, STARSTRUCK, TOUCHED, DEAD RIVER, and UNNATURAL DEEDS. She lives outside Allentown, Pennsylvania with her husband and daughters. Visit her online at www.cynbalog.com.
1 winner will receive a finished copy of UNNATURAL DEEDS, US Only.
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