Prologue Reveal: Burning Ember

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Burning Ember

Author: Darby Briar
Series: Harbinger’s of Chaos, #1
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publication Date: August 27 2015
Source: Between the Sheets Promotions

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The last thing she needs after running from one monster is to land in the lair of the Devil.

Twenty-one year old Ember flees her past with soot on her face, ash in her hair, and a promise. She’ll never let another man take away her freedom and treat her like she means nothing.

But that is exactly what Maverick Gunn, leader of the notorious Harbinger’s of Chaos Motorcycle Club seeks to do from the moment his lethal gaze locks on her. He burns her with every look. Every touch. Every word.

Ember’s only hope is to convince him she’s nothing like the woman who blackened his soul before he drags her down into the darkness with him.

 

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PROLOGUE

July 2008When your life burns to ash before you, it’s hard to find hope within the embers of what remains.

The overwhelming scent of gasoline invades my nose. The stench rises from my clothes and skin, blocking out the smell of the fiery inferno blazing before me. Heat licks at every exposed surface of my body and my eyes have grown as dry as the Mojave.

Still, it’s impossible to look away.

Not only is the contrast of the orange-yellow flames against the midnight sky mesmerizing, but I’m too desperate to witness every inch of the basement burn. With each second, the proof of the depravity I’ve lived through turns to charcoal, and a piece of his world crumbles, giving me peace.

The heavy cry of the fire truck siren grows louder, telling me I’ve run out of time. Even though ash falls like rain around me, blending me in with the night, it’s not enough. I need to disappear before they catch me here. Before they find out what I’ve done, and he discovers I’m still alive.

Stepping back into the shadows, I lift my hood, afraid my hair will draw too many unwanted eyes even in the dark. But as I lower my arms, the throbbing pain in my wrists registers. The gashes on each are now screaming for attention. Looking down, a ripple of awareness rockets through me.

No. God, no.

My gut twists on itself.

I’ve been so locked in this out-of-body daze, I hadn’t realized I’ve been leaving evidence of my escape all over the grass.

The siren wails in my eardrums saying, Go! Now! While there’s still time.

Sucking in a shaky breath, I pray I’ve given myself enough time to get out of the city, maybe even out of the state.

With one last look at the rising flames, I hitch my duffle over my shoulder, tuck my arms in close to my body, and walk away.

The warmth of the fire disappears and shivers race over my limbs as the cool, oceanic breeze rushes over me. For a moment, the air I breathe is filled with the scent of tropical flowers and salt water. But all too soon, it’s gone, replaced once again by the acidic smell of gas.

My heart feels heavy inside my chest as I say goodbye to the sunny place I’ve always called home. I’ll miss it. The beach, the bay, the hub of the city. The ocean and the sun on my skin. To think I may never return physically pains me.

How did it come to this? How did I slowly let him steal away everything important to me? My home? My family? My freedom?

I’ve asked myself a million times if I could have prevented this. Did I miss any warning signs early on? Hints that where I saw an angel, a monster lurked beneath.

There had to have been. However, I ignored or missed every single one.

Either way, it won’t happen again. I won’t be fooled by a pretty face and a gentlemanly facade a second time. And I sure as hell won’t allow anyone to control me like he did. For the rest of my days, however many there may be, I’ll have my freedom, if nothing else.

I won’t be locked up for one more second of my life.

Not. One. More. Second.

I may no longer be a saint, but at least I’m a survivor.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Darby

Darby Briar is an American author who loves writing stories about men with broken souls and women who don’t know their own strength. Most of her stories are dreamed up in the early hours of the morning, while driving, or while listening to music. She’s a business woman by day and a wife, mother, writer, and reader the rest of the time. She’s a lover of fiction whether it be a movie or book, but prefers stories with some romance, and ones that include a happy ending. Darby grew up in Utah and still lives in the northern part of the state. She’s married and her and her husband have three adorable kids.

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