“You’ll have to forgive me, Darlin’, for all the unforgiveable things I’m about to do…”
Loyalty is never easy — especially when you’re forced to choose between family and the man you would do anything to possess…
Born into a world that no child should endure, Magpie “Maggie” Crow is doted on by her loving father and over protective brothers. As much as she loves them, she fears them, especially when she learns secrets they’ve kept hidden.
Elliot McLaughlin joined the
U.S. Marine Corps right out of high school to provide for his wife and son. He’d never intended to become a father so young, but was willing to do what it took to give his family everything they needed.
After Elliot’s family goes missing, he returns from war to an empty home. Obsessed with discovering who took his family, he investigates their disappearance and plots his revenge.
Passion brings Maggie and Elliot together. Obsession pushes them apart. As a bitter battle begins between Elliot and the Crows,
Maggie’s heart hangs in the balance.
Maybe this is a stupid way for me to start this letter. You’re so much more than dear, but I can’t wrap my brain around another way to begin. It may even be stupid for me to be writing you at all. There’s no place for me to send this. If there were, I’d be standing with you in person taking you back from whatever evil has stolen my life away.
For the first time, I don’t know what to say to you. We never had that problem before. From the moment we met as kids, we were each other’s safety net. We laughed easily. We smiled brightly. We kept each other warm during the winter storms, and we played in the sun during the long summer afternoons.
I’ve done something wrong, baby. I’ve done many things wrong because I’ve lost the sounding board you’ve always been in my life. I’ve lost my confidence, my strength, and my common sense. You were all those things, and now that you’re gone, I’m wandering lost.
Without you to guide me home, Katie, I fear that I’ll never be found.
My actions have hurt a girl. I’ve hurt her without remorse and in ways that would make you hate me if you could see what I have done. I don’t want to think of myself as a monster — but maybe I am. I’m not done hurting her, and when I’m finished, I know she’ll be destroyed.
She’s so young, this poor creature that I’m dragging through my insanity, the one who’s trapped and helpless to a man who lost his mind fourteen years before she met him. I held a gun to her head. I kicked dirt in her eyes. I threatened her life until she was cowering beneath me begging for me to forgive her for everything she’d done. But even her tears weren’t enough to smother the rage that pulses inside me, they weren’t enough for me to let her go, to give her a safe place to run to while I annihilate everything she’s ever known.
You never knew her because she was just a child when you disappeared. If Michael hadn’t been taken away from me when I was off at war, she would have been the same age as our son. Maybe they would have met in a sunlit field as kids like you and me. Maybe they would have grown up together, their bodies developing and changing as their hearts taught them what it was to truly love one another. I should feel protective of this girl, should feel a need to watch over her as I’d intended to watch over Michael, but the drive inside me to return the pain I’ve lived with has led me to use her in the worst possible ways.
Please don’t hate me, Katie. I couldn’t live with myself if you turned away. Seeing your smile disappear would shred my heart. Hearing the disappointment in your voice would force me to my knees. Not seeing the bright blue of your sparkling eyes because you lost your faith in who I am would absolutely destroy me.
But I can’t lose those things, can I? I can’t see your smile, I can’t hear your voice, and I’ll never see the light in your eyes again.
I’m a rabid dog off his leash, a hungry tiger uncaged, a feral wolf that’s been injured and abused, only to be set free. Without you to hold the leash, I’ve become focused and intent on destroying everything in my path.
They took you from me, Katie. They stole you and they stole my son. They stole my heart, my soul, my happiness, and the perfect beat that pushes blood through my silent and broken heart.
I wasn’t given the chance to save you from the shadows. They took you when I wasn’t there to protect you.
Who does that? Who waits until a man is off at war to come in and steal away the only thing that gives him the ability to breathe? They could have stolen my arms or legs, my heart or lungs, my teeth or any other part of me and it would have hurt less than taking you. The pain is unbearable. It’s never ending. And over the years that I’ve endured the agony, it’s developed into something far darker, far more deadly, than anything I knew could exist inside me.
If I could crawl to you just to hear your voice once more, if I could drop to my knees just to see one last glimpse of your face, if I could give up my life just to hear the love that was always in your voice, I would forgo my pride, my strength, my entire being just to have you in my arms for one second longer.
All that’s left for me to do is confess the sins I’ve committed, to confess the sins I still have left to do.
I know you will disapprove of the man I’m becoming, but I just don’t know how else to ease the aching that consumes me every second, of every hour of every day. Not even sleep relieves me of the agony. And not even death will allow me to forgive this world for the pain that remains when you’re not there.
A man is dead because of me, and three more will die before I’m done.
A young girl is crying because of me, but my heart can no longer care about the tears I’ve caused.
I haven’t hurt her in ways that make me pure evil, not like the men that stole you away. However, every day has me inching closer to the line that separates a good man from the monster I’m becoming.
Vengeance has blinded me to my actions. More blood will spill once Maggie leads me to the men that stole you from my life. All I can do now is ask you to understand me, and to beg you to forgive me for my crimes.
Forgive me for the heartache that consumes me.
Forgive me for not having the ability to let you go.
Forgive me for the pain I’ve caused Maggie, and for destroying a girl who’s too young to know what it means to live.
The world has made you a woman shining among the stars, and left me behind as a broken and crippled man.
For that, I won’t stop, Katie. I won’t relent, not until all three of the Crows are dead and gone.
And you’ll just have to forgive me, Darlin’, for all the messed up and unforgiveable things I’m about to do.
Lily White is a dark writer who likes to dabble on the taboo side of eroticism. She is most known for her Masters Series (Her Master’s Courtesan and Her Master’s Teacher), Target This, Hard Roads and Asylum. She’s co-authored Serial (a four-part serial series). When she isn’t writing as Lily White, you can find other books by her under M.S. Willis where she has penned the Control Series, the Estate Series, Because of Ellison (contemporary romance) and Standard Romance Story (romance comedy). Lily enjoys stretching her writing muscles by continuing to challenge herself with each book she publishes. In addition to writing, Lily is an avid reader, gummy bear slayer and a gold medalist in puppy naps.