Trust Me Book 1
by Amy Romine
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Their brief heated meeting one fateful night had singed itself into their minds. Not knowing of the other’s identity, but unable to forget, had sealed their fate. The fire smoldered quietly in each of them as they tried to move on with their lives.
Eric Stiles was in the middle of chaos, searching for a killer.
Hunted by an obsessed psychopath, Rebecca Gailen was trying to be strong.
The world stopped for a moment as they looked up and saw the other standing just feet away.
His heart lurched, her armor shattered and the world started again as Eric’s brother, Charlie, appeared to take her hand.
Family loyalty isn’t a choice. When Rebecca’s stalker rages out of control, Eric’s decision haunts him and he struggles to stay away. Can he remain loyal to his brother, even if it means abandoning Rebecca when she may need him the most?
Eric managed to get a few hours sleep in the cage before he was needed back in the bullpen. He was finding it more and more difficult to push her out of his mind. He went to get some coffee.
“Stiles,” Lug said, breaking through his churning thoughts.
“Hey, what’s up?” he replied as he grabbed is full cup of coffee.
“Trace on the box of blood came back,” Lug said.
Eric walked to his desk. “And?”
“They found a piece of hair in the box sealant.”
“Were they able to get a name?”
“Yeah,” Lugow started. Eric looked down at his desk in hesitation. “It came as a match to a Veronica Naltin.”
Eric froze, the name hitting him in the chest. “What?”
“Yeah.” Eric took a deep breath. “We double checked. There’s no mistake.”
“Jesus,” He leaned on the desk, his mind spinning uncontrolled.
Adam appeared and looked at him. “You told him?”
“So now what?” Eric asked. He tried to reign in the fear that began to bubble in his stomach. They were not only dealing with a stalker, but now a ruthless killer.
“We start from the beginning,” Adam said as Lug nodded. “We look at everything from both cases.”
“We should look at anything that’s happened since this guy made first contact with Rebecca,” Lug suggested.
“Do we have a date?”
“The only specific date I have is two weeks before the teddy bear,” Lug replied as he looked at his notes. “I will try and get something more specific.”
“Where is she now?”
“Donna’s,” he said with a deep breath.
“Is she going to be safe there?”
“She’ll be fine for now,” Lugow added.
“Okay, let’s get to work,” Adam said.
Eric’s phone rang. “Detective Stiles.”
“Eric, we have a problem,” Charlie said, sounding panicked and out of breath. “What’s going on?” he said, looking to Lug and Adam.
“Rebecca got a message from the stalker.”
“I little while ago,” he replied.
Eric’s heart began to race.
“We think he’s going after Donna.”
“I don’t now. Something about the message.”
“Did you hear it?”
“Let me talk to Rebecca.” Charlie passed the phone to Rebecca.
“Eric,” her voice sounded terrified and shaken.
Eric got to his feet as Adam followed him. “What did he say?”
“Uh, it was a joke.”
“A knock, knock, joke.”
“Tell me exactly what he said, Beccs.”
“Knock, knock, who’s there, Donna, Donna who, Donna turn around ka-boom,” she said into the phone.
He could hear the agony in her voice. “Where are you?”
“On our way to Donna’s office.”
“Okay, let me talk to Charlie.” He heard her pass the phone back to Charlie.
“Hey,” Charlie said.
Eric and Adam reached Adam’s car. “Have either of you tried to call her yet?”
“Yeah, she’s not answering, but Beccs said she had an early meeting.”
“We’re on our way to Donna’s office as well, but you need to stall and keep Rebecca away until I tell you it’s okay.”
“That’s going to be pretty hard to do.”
“Listen to me, this could all be a way to lure Rebecca out into the open,” Eric explained as Adam pulled onto the street. “Just stall long enough for us to make sure it’s safe.”
“Okay,” Charlie agreed before Eric hung up.
“What’s going on?” Adam asked.
“Rebecca got a message from the stalker.”
“What kind of message?”
“One with a ka-boom.”
Eric, Adam, Lug and the bomb squad arrived in front of Donna’s office twenty minutes later. Adam coordinated the sweep and evacuation of the building while Eric went looking for Donna. He stepped off the elevator and flashed his badge to the receptionist. “Detective Stiles, I need to speak with Donna Smith, it’s an emergency,” Eric said as the woman looked at him in confusion.
“I thought you were meeting her in the parking garage,” the woman replied.
Eric spun, dashing to the elevator as he called Adam. “She was called down to the parking garage, I’m on my way now,” Eric said into the phone hitting the P on the elevator. The doors opened moments later, and he stepped off. He found Donna leaning against her car with a look of irritation. “Donna!”
She shifted, looking.
He ran toward her.
“Eric, what’s going on?” She moved to meet him.
Eric heard a door slam just to the left.
“Is Beccs alright?”
“She got a call from the stalker. He…”
“Donna!” Rebecca called, Charlie in tow.
Eric realized she was going to pass right in front of Donna’s car
“Beccs, no!” he screamed, pushing Donna behind him just before the car exploded.
The blast pushed both he and Donna off their feet as it shattered and sprayed glass across the parking lot. Eric recovered and bolted upright to see Rebecca and Charlie flat on the ground…
Trust Me Book 2
She had become his prey. His plaything. The one he desired the most, but someone wanted her more.
Her resilience fading, Rebecca fights to remain strong against the man trying to destroy her mind and her life. Without the solace of Eric’s arms, Rebecca’s will to recover from the relentless blows wanes as she begins to break.
Eric, forced to face his own choices, races to end the nightmare before the woman he loves is completely torn apart.
Just when they think the worst is over, the game and the stakes change.
Her mind was heavy and her body began to awaken. Piece by piece, the pain started to pulse through her muscles. It started with the burning ache of her leg, and moved up to a spiraling throb in the small of her back, a hardness in her chest, and then blinding pain behind her eyes.
She tried to move, hearing the scraping of metal. Her body trembled in resistance. Her eyes opened to faint whispering light and a pipe covered ceiling.
Her mind spun, she allowed herself to just breathe and not move. She waited for her thoughts to settle.
She got away
She opened her eyes again and took a deep breath of relief. Lucy managed to get away and Rebecca prayed that her sister was somewhere safe. Now she just needed to keep her head straight until Eric found her, or another opportunity for escape presented itself.
She lifted herself off the hard ground, her body screaming in protest. Cold metal beneath her hand, she grabbed one of the surrounding pipes, using it to sit upright. The area was much smaller than the previous room, but again there was no break of light only a single door.
Rebecca pulled her throbbing right leg beneath her and noticed an unfamiliar weight around her ankle. The scraping of metal broke through the darkness, and she reached down feeling thick rusted metal. Her eyes began to adjust to the lack of light. She focused on the area to see an ancient lead manacle beneath her hand. Attached to a bulky chain hanging heavy on the floor. She followed it along the wall before ending at a set of large solid pipes.
She reached out to examine her injury, stretching out her opposite leg. She pulled at the fabric covering her leg, until she saw blood. It didn’t look bad, a simple flesh wound. She debated whether to expend the energy to stand. Before she could decide, the door opened.
Two of Marco’s thugs enter the room and she remained on the floor. They wordlessly unlocked the binding around her leg and hauled her to her feet. Once her leg was free, they yanked her forward and dragged her out of the room and through the house. The sunshine blinded her, and it took a moment for her eyes to adjust before she could discern where she was.
An open luxury house, they led her down a hallway and shoved her into a room, and she heard the door lock. The room was beautiful. Hardwood floors, cream painted walls, and an antique bed covered in copper hued pillows and blankets.
She moved to the windows, and discerned the seal fusing the frames and thick plexiglas. A second door led to a lush but windowless bathroom. Her hand pushed through her hair in frustration. She moved back into the main room. She faced the bed with a deep breath. Its softness called to her weary body. She struggled not to lay down and let herself sink into mindless bliss.
It was then she noticed the black dress laid out on top. A pair of black stilettos on the floor.
“Get cleaned up and put on the dress. You have an hour,” she heard echo through the small room.
“Why should I?” she called back, receiving no response until the door opened. A thug entered, his gun poised against his chest.
“You have an hour,” the faceless voice repeated, and she begrudgingly grabbed the dress off the bed. The thug’s eyes boring into her back, she moved to the bathroom and closed the door.
Reluctantly stripping off her clothes, she stepped into the shower. Unable to take any enjoyment out of the heated streams of water. They slid against her body, effectively washing away the dirt. She could still feel the filth covering her body. Without warning, the world around her went fuzzy. She planted her hands against the tile of the wall waiting for the spell to pass.
Come on Beccs, you need to pull it together. You can’t lose it yet. You have to keep going
You have to keep going
You can do this… just breathe…
The shower allowed her to breathe, and her sight cleared. She shivered, despite the warmth of the room. The dress slid over her body, but it’s flawlessness made her feel disjointed and foreign. She tugged at the zipper and took in her reflection. Her bruised face stared at her. She gulped back the tears that threatened to fall. Her hands shaking, she acknowledged all the damage he had done.
She ached for Eric.
He will come.
He will find me.
She heard the door of the bedroom opening and she spun toward it. Marco entered and motioned her into enter the room. She lingered, looked at the armed guard behind him and then moved.
“Rebecca, you have to admit. I have extremely good taste,” Marco moved around her, licking his lips, scrutinizing her body. She restrained her disgust with a short breath. He moved closer. “Your body really does fill that dress in all the right places.”
She felt him just behind her shoulder. His hand rested on the small of her back. It proceeded to shift down her hip, and then across her lower abdomen like a tentacle. He moved to face her, his eye’s cold and darting. He decided to brush the inside of her leg, and she suppressed a tremble of loathing.
“That dress pales in comparison to the body that it encompasses. It’s too bad Detective Stiles isn’t here to enjoy it with me,” she heard him breathe into her neck. A chill ran up her spine, the blood to drained from her cheeks. “You look so pale, sweetheart, did I hit a nerve?”
Mid-breath, she straightened her back and lowered her shoulders. His face stopped within inches of hers.
“What you did, with Lucy was…brave.” His breath on her face, he stared down at her lips. “It makes me wonder if Detective Stiles was as brave in his time of trial.”
“What are you boasting about now?” She lifted her chin in defiance of him, her voice lined with thick sarcasm.
“Tit for Tat, Beccs.” His hand rested on her hip, and he smiled. “You take something from me, and I take something from you. You didn’t really think I was going to let it go…did you?”
Her heart panicked uncontrolled, but she refused to take what he was saying at face value. He was taunting her, trying to get her to fight him, so he had an excuse. He was pissed at what she’d done, so he was trying to torture her.
His eyes remained focused on her lips. She turned her face away from him in disgust. Within a breath, she felt his lips and tongue against her now exposed neck.
“You don’t believe me?” he said into her neck and she fought the rising fury sweeping through her.
Marco held a cell phone up for her to see. A picture of Eric on the ground covered in blood. His face dark, his eyes closed.
She turned away from the photograph, in an attempt to deny the panic rising in her chest. He grabbed her neck and forced her to look at the image. Despite her efforts to push it out of her mind, the reality hit, and her body trembled.
“He’s not coming for you Rebecca. You’re all alone. No one is coming for you, and soon, you won’t want them to.”
Trust Me Book 3
Eric Stiles has everything to lose and no matter how hard he fights he can feel his life slipping away.
Rebecca Gailen thinks that the love of her life is dead and only the vigor of revenge keeps her fighting to survive.
When a secret reveals more than anyone expected, it changes Eric and Rebecca’s lives forever. The devastating truth puts the couple at odds. Can they overcome their clashing conclusions and learn to trust each other again? Or will they let it rip them apart?
His conscious lifted out of the cocoon of sleep. Eric opened his eyes to find her still within his arms. The light in the room had changed, shining an orange glow against the walls. He guessed it was early morning. He glanced at the clock, and saw it was a little after six a.m. He watched her sleep. His thumb stroked her temple. He was worried about her.
Beccs is used to taking care of herself and everyone else. She’s not used to anyone taking care of her. She thinks it makes her weak…
He remembered the night Donna had told him that. Little did he know how accurate the statement would be. He didn’t know how to show her that her leaning on him was not a sign of weakness. It was a sign of being human. He wanted her to lean on him. He wanted her to need him, even if it was just a little.
It terrified him that in an effort to be strong, she was going to do more damage than good. He’d seen her try to suppress her anxiety, and pain before, not liking the results. She sighed, and he focused on her eyes. They fluttered open before looking up at him with a smile.
“Good morning,” she reached up, caressing his cheek.
“Morning,” Her face became contemplative as she studied him. “I missed you last night.”
“I’m sorry.” He brushed a lingering kiss over her soft lips.
“That’s okay, you can make it up to me today,” she said, curling her fingers into his hair.
“No, I can’t.”
“Why?” She looked back to him in confusion.
“I need to go to the station and take care of a few loose ends.”
“You didn’t take care of them last night?”
“Yes and no.” His arm wrapped around her in an unconscious need to keep her close.
“What’s going on?”
“Nothing for you to worry about.” She shifted from beneath him in obvious irritation. “Beccs.”
“You have enough—” She lifted the blankets off her legs and got out of bed.
“Don’t what? Don’t dump a lot of unneeded crap in your lap?”
“That’s not what I meant.”
“Then what?” His frustration with the conversation was confusing. He didn’t understand what they were arguing about but, he was glad they were arguing.
“When did you start censoring what we can and cannot talk about?”
“Yes you do.” The lack of emotion in her voice evident and frustrating him even more.
“I’m not censoring anything.”
“Fine.” She disappeared into the bathroom and he followed.
“Beccs,” seeing her putting toothpaste on her toothbrush. “I didn’t think it was anything you needed to be worried about.”
“You know part of being honest is not holding back, Eric!”
“Forgive me for trying to protect you!”
“I don’t need your protection!”
“I know that. I never said…” The fire in her eyes grew as she defended herself to him.
She was fighting him.
His Beccs was coming back.
“I’m not some fragile flower you have to treat with kid gloves! I can handle your life, my life, and everything that comes with it or I wouldn’t be here!”
“Okay, I’m sorry. I know you can handle whatever it is that comes into our lives,” he admitted with a deep breath, understanding why she was upset. “I didn’t mean to become a hovering, overprotective guy, I swear.”
“Well you did.” Her expression change as if surprised by her own sudden passion.
“I’m sorry. I just don’t want you to get overwhelmed. You’re still recovering, sweetheart.”
“Okay, fine…fine I’ll stop. I know that you can handle it. I forgot that you are my tough as nails, fiery redhead.”
“Don’t do it again.” He lessened the gap between them, and her eyes softened. “It’s annoying, and I don’t like being mad at you.”
“I don’t like it when you’re mad at me.” His hands enveloped her waist, he pulled her close, and her arms looping around his chest.
“How are you feeling?”
“Fine, a little sore.” he replied before planting a tender kiss on her lips.
“You know you’re supposed to be resting,” she whispered into his lips before pressing her lips back to his. He walked her back and she sat against the bathroom counter.
“Intriguing, and what would resting include exactly?” Eric leaned, breathing against her neck before trailing a line up to just behind her ear. Kissing the tender area, he savored her, his hands caressing the lines of her back.
“Well there would be steamy showers, hours of languidly laying in bed, hot oil massages…”
“Of course, didn’t you know I took a masseur class in college?” He grazed at her ribs with his fingertips. His lips pressed against her collar bone. “I’ve been told my hands are ethereal and demonic at the same time.”
“Sounds exotic,” Her nails skimmed the back of his neck, sending chills up his spine, her legs trapping his waist.
“Exotic enough for you to stay home?”
“Maybe.” He met her eyes, before devouring her lips.
He pulled her off the counter and walked her back into the bedroom. She tugged at his shirt, and pushed it over his head. Her nails sent tingles through his body as they slid down his chest. His mouth continued its heady consumption of her lips. They reached the bed and supporting her back, he lowered her beneath him.
Her arms danced around his waist as his fingers pushed into her hair. He could feel his body heating against her softness. His mouth nipped at her ear before trailing down her neck. His hands began to push her shirt up, when he heard his cell phone ring.
He began to kiss every bump and bruise covering her beautiful body. Each discolored mark reminding him of what it felt like to almost lose her. The emotion attached to the memory was overwhelming. He rose back up, taking her face in his hands.
“I love you, Beccs.” Eric wrapped his arms around her before covering her mouth with deep enduring kisses. The splendor of her arms around him, wanting nothing more than to hold her beneath him forever.
His phone rang again. He ignored it, letting it go to voicemail. His focus remained on her soft body beneath his hands.
The phone rang a third time, and it got his attention. He lifted his mouth as she lined his lower lip with the tip of her finger. Still debating he leaned down to kiss her when the phone rang again. He groaned in protest as he rolled off the bed, and grabbed it off the dresser.
Eric dialed his voicemail and sat on the bed, as she came up behind him. Her arms draped over his shoulders as she kissed his neck. The voicemail was from Adam. Some additional information came in about the locket and a message came in from Reynolds. His free hand stroked her arms as he listened through the voice mail then deleted it.
He tossed the phone on the bed, his mind flipping in disappointment. He reached back, pulling her around his body, cradling her in his lap. He kissed her before pulling back, his hands brushing through her hair.
“You’re leaving aren’t you?”
“I’m sorry, baby, I have to go.”
“What’s going on?”
“What loose ends?” He took a breath of hesitation about telling her the truth. “Don’t do it.”
“We might have a lead on the locket,” he said, pulling at her lips.
“And,” He was unable to hide the smile that came with her stubborn nature. “Jorge Reynolds is asking to see me.”
“Reynolds, as in Reynolds my stalker, psycho murderer, Reynolds?” He kept her eyes and he nodded. “Why does he want to see you?”
“I don’t know, he won’t say.”
“What do you think he wants?”
“He could want to talk about you.”
“Me, why, me?”
“Well he did help me find you and he told us about the locket.”
“He did?” She sat up in his arms. Her attention focused on the conversation.
“So you think he wants to talk to you, to find out what happened?”
“Maybe, or he may just want to talk about you.”
“What are you going to do?”
“I haven’t decided yet.” Eric lifted her with his arms and twisted, laying her back on the bed.
“What would make you want to go see him?”
“There are several things,” He lay beside her and she rolled onto her side to face him. “I think he might be able to tell me who has the locket.”
“So you’re going to go see him.”
“I didn’t say that.” He played with her hair, loving her sudden interrogation of him.
“You didn’t not say it either, Stiles.” She lined his chin before kissing him. “When you go see him, just promise me you’ll be careful.”
“It’s a jail—”
“I promise.” He smirked pulling her beneath him again before smothering her mouth.
“You see, that wasn’t so difficult was it?”
“Not nearly as difficult as it’s going to be to leave you today.”
Amy Romine has always wanted to be one of the good guys. From playing Charlie’s Angels in the backyard of her Macungie, PA home as a child to the pages of her unending projects, Amy has always dreamed of adventure and romance. Her need to make the characters truly deserve their happiness takes us on many a twisted journey. From serial killers to demons, Amy holds nothing back in the name of true enduring love.
A mother of three, Amy has spent the past sixteen years working in Operations for Ricoh America’s Corporation. She is an avid movie fan and enjoys books, television, theater, her dog Pip and all things romance.
How to Survive a Psychotic Killer Stalking You
By Amy Romine
Romantic Suspense Author
Some of you may be wondering, how do you keep from losing your mind when your entire life has been turned inside out and upside down? When everything once within the illusion of your control is now running amuck like a bull in a china shop. We here are a few tips, from someone who knows.
If you think you are in control, just let go of that right now. The more you try to control the situation the worse it is going to get! If you do find yourself the object of affection for some psycho lunatic, let’s be honest, there really isn’t shit you can do.
Tip # 1 – Buy a Laptop
First, if you don’t have a laptop consider investing in one. Most are fairly cheap, and you will thank your credit card later. This wonderful device will soon become your only link to the outside world, via email, online content and the occasional Facebook posting (although I would limit your exposure). You will also hopefully be able to salvage the remains of your life. Continue to pay bills, work remotely, maybe even buy a new pair of shoes (although you will need to set up a separate destination for delivery as you won’t to give yourself away). Laptops are also portable and can pretty much handle anything you throw at them, and most are water proof for the occasional melt down.
Tip# 2 – Prepare for the Late Night / Early morning crawl.
Next, I would suggest you get familiar with binge watching television. Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, have all of these will keep you going for a little while at least. If you have regular cable, stick to TCM, USA, & TNT. I am not talking Jimmy Kimmel and Conan O’Brien. I am talking 230 AM TCM Abbot and Costello or my personal favorite, Tom and Jerry on Cartoon Planet. Rule of thumb, there is ALWAYS a Law and Order on somewhere. Also, just because it is black and white, doesn’t mean it sucks. Best channels for late night / early morning are going to be, TCM, TNT, USA, and Cartoon Planet (does anyone else see a pattern here?). If you go cable (HBO, Cinemax, Showtime) you are going to run into soft core and since you probably not getting any, probably not the best idea.
A second option for your sleepless night dilemma’s is going to be a good ole fashion book. Paper or digital catch up on your TBR piles! There are tons of authors out there wanting your review. Now you may be thinking that you shouldn’t be prepared for the occasion of insomnia. Trust me, it will happen, and better to be prepared than get stuck watching infomercials.
*Note – Do not try and work at 3 AM! First off, people are going to think you have fallen off the deep end. Second, although your eyes are open and your mind is spinning, how coherent are you really? Don’t be stupid and try to ‘keep up’, you don’t need to be sending drunk emails to your boss. (They found that people who drive after being awake for 17 to 19 hours performed worse than those with a blood alcohol level of .05 percent.)
Tip# 3 – Keep the little constants in your life alive and kicking
Moving on, try and keep some fragment of your life stable. (Impossible, right?) They say that children need a schedule for a sense of reassurance. Believe it or not Adults do as well. So obviously if you go running every morning you are going to have to put it on hold for a while (yes, I know it totally sucks!) but things, small things, like your favorite creamer in the fridge or keeping up with your favorite blogs online. Even something as small as having Taco’s on Wednesdays can make all the difference in your ability to cope with the upheaval.
Lastly, and most important, DO NOT GIVE UP, it will end eventually. As you are already realizing, your friends and family are going to be supportive and wonderful, but the fact of the matter is, you are going through this, not them.
So, do not give up, give in or let go of anything you want, wish and hope for. Those are the things that will keep you going. Things are never completely hopeless. There is always a glimmer of hope smiling back at you when you look into his eyes…hold onto the warmth of the memory, the sliver of belief that if it is meant to be it will happen.
God please make it meant to be…
So here are your tips to survival. I could go on and on but these are the must have’s in my opinion everything else is negotiable.
Stick to your guns and as Scarlett said…tomorrow is another day!
Author Amy Romine writing as Rebecca Gailen the Heroine of Trust Me Book 1 – Serenity Lost available at Amazon.com
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