ABOUT STEP DARKLY
“I’m to remain here, in the hell I tried so hard to leave and holding the keys to my cage is the devil himself.“
When Emilia returns to face the man she ran away from, she’s determined to cut him out of her life for good but things have changed. This time Joshua is holding all the cards and he’s got other plans in this enemies to lovers, romance.
Step Darkly is the first book in the Ravenous Series. Each book in the series can be read on its own.
CHAPTER 1: JOSHUA
I remember the first day I saw her like it was yesterday.
Little Emilia Connor.
She had medium-length dirty blonde hair tied into two high pigtails, a band-aid covering a skinned knee, glasses and a light pink sundress.
She stood in the first row with her grade three class as they sang a song for our school’s spring assembly.
I just transferred to her school because my mother was secretly dating her boss, who happened to be Emilia’s father, and it was getting serious. We moved to the area so they could be closer together. I was at the end of my grade eight year and I left my friends and a decent life behind so my mother could follow her dreams of living the high life.
At thirteen, I was old enough to be told about their plans to move in together but my mother and her father considered her too young to know what was happening until it was permanent. There were many times I envied her ignorance.
Sitting with the new grade I just transferred into and watching her class sing their little hearts out, I heard her voice above all of them.
She beamed her bright smile at everyone who would look at her as she animatedly hit all of the notes and stupidly grinned into the audience without a care in the world.
I hated her instantly.
Things have changed a lot in those fifteen years, but what hasn’t changed was our disdain for each other and our rivalry.
I always felt as though I was never enough around her. I was the kid from the slums who never fit in. I knew the value of working hard. My old man died at forty-five because of an aneurysm from working too hard for other people and never hard enough on himself.
I never asked to be pulled out of that life and being near Emilia always made me feel like I didn’t belong in this one.
There was something about her I never saw in any of the other girls. Her hair was always in place and she wore the most simple yet prettiest dresses. If you didn’t come from these parts, you would never be able to tell from looking at her that her father was one of the most successful businessmen in the city.
As much as she got under my skin, once we matured, her laugh always triggered something inside of me. It became difficult to be close to her with so many conflicting feelings waging war with each other.
Everything about her life was perfect.
Everything but me.
I know she tried to put on an act and be nice, but I felt it in my bones.
I was never enough.
Then, in my graduating year, her gloves came off. Playing the caring daughter and a kind human being must have been too difficult for her because she just stopped trying.
By then, my mother had already married and divorced her father and Emilia’s dad never stopped showing an interest in my life.
But she did.
She stopped speaking to me all together during my senior year. Even though I moved out with my mom during the divorce, Adam still had me over for the occasional dinner and she would breeze into the room, acknowledge Adam with her smiles and kisses and leave just as quickly.
I became a ghost in her presence.
Emilia’s dad offered a few of the guys from my graduating class entry-level positions at Connor Realty and most of us jumped at the chance since no one was interested in hiring kids right out of high school.
Then Adam, Emilia’s dad, began to mentor me causing Emilia to distance herself further from her own father.
When she graduated, she took a nice little trust fund and moved as far away as she could to go to university and she’s been home for one holiday in the last five.
And now she’s on her way here. Adam didn’t deserve a spoiled little rich girl like Emilia.
Thumbing my fingers across Adam’s last will, a charge builds inside of me and a smile creeps across my face. My little Emilia tried so hard to run away from her own life but that’s the thing about destiny; eventually all roads will lead you back to the path meant for you. And I’ve been waiting for her to stumble back onto hers for a long time now.
As I sit quietly in wait for her to arrive today, I realize my first instincts all of those years ago were right.
I hate her.