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Authors: Adrianne Lee

Endless Fear

BOOK: Endless Fear
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Endless Fear
Adrianne Lee
Zebra (1992)

A fast-paced, exquisitely suspenseful tale of a young woman being stalked by an unknown killer. For twelve years, April Faraday's memory had been shrouded in darkness, blocking out the memory of her mother's murder. But now the time had come to confront the past. And this time it didn't matter if April remembered, for soon she would be silenced forever.

Endless Fear

by

Adrianne Lee

Published by Adrianne
Lee

June 2010

Copyright © 2010 Adrianne Lee
(Previous
copyright assigned)

Cover illustration
copyright ©
Rae Monet, Inc.

ISBN Not Assigned

Discover other titles by Adrianne Lee at
www.adriannelee.com

License Notes

This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each person you share it with. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then you should return to Amazon Kindle and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.

All characters in this book have no existence outside the imagination of the author and have no relation whatsoever to anyone bearing the same name or names. They are not even distantly inspired by any individual known or unknown to the author, and all incidents are pure invention.

This book was previously published in paperback format.

 


Talented Adrianne Lee’s stories start off with a bang and continue with non-stop action!”
~Romantic Times

Unending Fear

For twelve long years April Farraday has struggled to recall what happened the night of her mother's fatal fall down a flight of stairs. Did
she
push her mother to her death? If she is ever to be free to spend her life with the man she loves, April must return to scene of the crime, to Calendar House, and confront her forgotten past.

Spencer Garrick has loved April for twelve years, loved her and lived with the fear that once she recalls what happened the night of her mother’s fall, she will forever hate him.

But Spencer is not the only one who fears April’s memory returning. Will he be able to protect his love before she is silenced. . .forever?

Prologue

Angry voices!

Echoing from the landing above the basement stairs.

Fourteen-year-old April clamped her palms over her ears, effectively blocking the words. But not the anger.

Who was arguing with her mother? For it was her mother’s voice she heard; there was no denying that sing-song lilt it always took on when she’d been drinking.

An awful dread filled April. She hated her mother and this was the way she hated her most. Drunk. Sometimes she even wished Lily was dead.

Lily!
She wasn’t allowed to call her momma, or mom, or mother. Just Lily. While she was to answer to
Baby!

As if of their own volition, her hands slid from her ears and caught hold of the braids at the sides of her head. She gave them a disgusted yank. Pigtails! And this horrid dress that hung like a pillowcase from her shoulders. She wasn’t a baby. Why did her mother make her dress like one? Couldn’t Lily see she’d started to change from a child into a young woman?

Or was that the problem?

A loud slap resounded through the open room. April flinched as though she’d been struck. Had she been? She could swear she felt her cheek sting, and her ears rang as if from a blow.

The normal dusty dank scent of the basement dissolved in the tinny odor of fear burning April’s nostrils, coating her tongue. She tried to edge away from her mother’s wrath, but Lily stood between her and the door.


April?” Her mother’s voice was shrill with disbelief.

This time April listened, straining to identify another voice. Instead she heard the tinkle of breaking glass.


You’ll be sorry…! Lily hissed.

April slammed her eyes shut. Suddenly she didn’t want to see, to feel. She threw her hands in front of her and shoved hard as though she could push aside the bad voices.

Lily’s scream startled her.

April’s eyes flew open. Lily was falling. Tumbling down the stairs. Frantically, April reached for her.
Too late.

Bump!

Thud!

Shriek!

And then silence.

Deafening silence.

Running recklessly down the steep staircase, April stopped halfway, clung to the railing, and gazed in horror at her mother’s sprawled for below. Her chest squeezed with pain.

Until that moment, Lily Cordell-Farraday had always seemed more alive than everyone else. No longer. She was still. Too still. Her long blond hair was in wild disarray, spread about her ivory face like discarded gold silk, her aqua eyes were huge with glassy terror, and her graceful neck was twisted at an unnatural angle.

April stumbled down the remaining stairs, fell to her knees and caught her mother’s lifeless hand to her chest.


I’m sorry,” she sobbed. “I’m sorry.”

Chapter One

The ominous note arrived two days after the invitation.

April’s stepbrother was getting married May first. The invitation from her father was not for the wedding. That was still four months away. Rather, he was asking her to attend the formal engagement party her family was throwing three weeks hence at Calendar House.

The note warned her to stay away.

Shakily, April scanned the unsigned paper for the umpteenth time. The message was simple:
If ever again you set foot inside Calendar House you will regret it!


What do you make of this?” she asked, dropping the note on her doctor’s file-cluttered desk. Obviously, Doctor Nancy Merritt, the psychiatrist at the Phoenix sanitarium where April was an outpatient, had been in the middle of evaluations when she’d agreed to this appointment. “I haven’t been
home
in twelve years. In fact, this has been my home for most of that time. And now, when I’m well enough to face them, someone sends this!”

Doctor Merritt was a plain woman whose cropped brown hair hugged her head like an overturned bird’s nest. Her features lacked beauty, but not strength. The preteen shapelessness of her figure had long ago convinced April the woman fed more on nervous energy than food. The doctor read the mysterious note, then turned her warm brown eyes to April. “How does this make you feel?”

How did she feel? Angry. Offended. A little scared. Although morning shafts of winter sun spilled in through two windows, April hugged herself against a sudden chill.

In the background, the soft upbeat sounds of Kenny G filtered from concealed speakers. Usually the music lifted her spirits and soothed her. Today it annoyed her. She stormed to the shelf of books which also housed the stereo equipment and punched the off button.

Dropping her head back on her shoulders, she stared at the ceiling, and drew a deep breath. There was, she noted absently, the usual overlaying scent of pine cleaner in the utilitarian office, a distinctive sign of normalcy. It should have helped her pull things into perspective. It didn’t. Slowly, she faced Nancy.

If the doctor was surprised or offended by April’s actions she showed no sign of it. Irrationally, this annoyed April all the more. She paced, waving her hands in the air. “How do you suppose I feel? I’m upset.”


And…?”

Avoiding the real issue, April said, “And…I want to know who sent that vile note. Other than Daddy, I haven’t seen any of those people in twelve years. Oh sure, they’ve written, sent birthday and Christmas presents, but none of them cared enough to show up on my doorstep.”


Was that their idea…or yours?” asked Nancy in her gentle, persistent way.

Some of April’s bluster deflated. “You know it was mine.”

Nancy nodded. “I’ve never understood why.”

April opened her mouth, but didn’t speak. She still couldn’t bring herself to tell Nancy the whole truth. Nor anyone else either. Until she remembered all the details, she couldn’t even admit out loud that she might have killed Lily. With her blood the temperature of ice water, she eyed the foreboding note. Perhaps the person who’d sent it already knew and was afraid she’d murder them all in their sleep. Her mouth felt as dry as the desert outside; her palms as damp as the dew on the cacti.


It’s all right, April. You can tell me your reasons when you’re ready. Look, I realize this is unsettling. But I strongly caution you about giving this”-–she tapped the note again—“such importance. I’d hate to see it undo all the good we’ve accomplished, or to keep you from achieving a complete recovery.”

April was used to Nancy’s unobtrusive way of letting
her
figure out what she wanted. And more than anything else, she wanted to be well. She steeled herself against giving the note and its unknown author even a modicum of power over her. “You know what? Nothing is going to deter my plans to return to Calendar House.”

* * * *

Twelve years in Arizona had disaccustomed April to the cutting chill of the San Juan Islands in winter, but the pungent bite of sea water invading her nostrils brought a smile to her lips. Without realizing it, she had missed the aroma of home. But not the rain, she admitted, watching it gather on the windshield.

Resigned to getting wet, she stepped from her rented car onto the bobbing deck of the Farraday family’s working ferry. Moored in Friday Harbor, the barge-like affair was all flat deck and wooden railings, and large enough to accommodate two medium-sized cars. It smelled of creosote and brine-soaked timbers.


Go on into the wheelhouse,” Karl Winston, the ferry’s captain directed. “I gotta secure the car.”

She didn’t need to be told twice. April dashed for the forward deck and the snug, five-by-eight structure from which the captain steered the motorized craft. The words “Farraday Island” were emblazoned in huge red letters on three of its four walls. The paint looked fresh.

Somehow the whole ferry seemed smaller, April thought, entering the compact cabin. She shut the door against the drizzle, slid onto the bench seat, and watched Karl ready her car for the journey ahead.

Seeing him again had been a shock. She was still having trouble accepting that the scrawny, spoiled mama’s boy she had once played with had grown into this handsome man. Now in his late twenties, Karl looked as striking as some Viking god from the pages of Norwegian history.

A blast of icy air rattled the rain slicked window at her back, and April shrugged deeper into her red parka.

Karl cast off, and hastened into the wheelhouse. “Here we go,” he announced, grinding the engine to life. “The heater will warm this place in no time.”

A moment later, they were cruising across the choppy waters out of the Harbor. April’s heartbeat fluttered as Karl veered recklessly past oncoming boats with no apparent regard to who had the right-of-way. The hard wooden bench beneath her was smooth from wear, and she struggled to hold her position.

BOOK: Endless Fear
9.84Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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