By: L.A. Casey


That was all I felt radiate throughout my body. Hot burning pain. My knees were on fire, my shoulder hurt and my cheek slightly stung. I was hurting, but apart from my sudden scream I didn't whimper or make any sound of pain, Darcy would have enjoyed that too much.

I heard him sigh as he stood over me. "Are you okay, clumsy arse?"


"I'm grand," I rasped.

I painfully pushed myself up until I was standing upright. I was a little wobbly on my feet, but I was standing, and that was the main thing.

Sure I was in pain, but at least I was up.

"Give me the doll, Neala."

I held the now slightly damaged box to my chest. "No way, this is Charli's doll."

Darcy glared at me. "No, its Dustin's. Now give it here."

Dustin, was Darcy's six year old nephew, he was a sweet kid, but right now, he was my enemy too.

"Dustin? Dustin is a boy, Darcy."

"Thank you for pointing that out, sweetheart. We would have never known he was a lad otherwise."


"Cut the smartarse replies." I growled.

Darcy grinned. "I can't seem to help it around you. You bring it out in me."

I bring out the smartarse in him? Fantastic.

"Whatever, this doll is going to Charli. Go get an action figure or something for Dustin."

I took a few steps back away from Darcy, but he quickly closed the space by advancing forward.

"No. Dustin specifically asked for the Fire Princess doll, so that is exactly what I am getting him."

I furrowed my eyebrows. "Your six year old nephew wants a princess doll... Really?"

Darcy glared at me. "He is a kid, Neala - it's princess toys this week and next week it could be man eating dinosaurs. I don't expect judgemental people like you to understand that children like to play with all kinds of toys."

Judgemental people like me?

The nerve of him!

"I'm not judgemental! I just don't think Dustin would really have any fun with this doll or any doll for that matter. I mean, the kid cut the head off all of Charli's toys last week for his own sick and twisted amusement. He is a serial doll killer, Darcy."

Darcy looked at me with both pain and amusement.

"If I didn't know each member of your family like they were me own, I would think you were reared by a bunch of crazies."

He wouldn't be lying if he said my family was crazy, because they were.

"I don't appreciate you insinuating that I'm crazy-"

"I'm not insinuating anything, I'm flat out saying you're a nut job."

I felt my eye twitch in annoyance.

"I can't stand you."

Darcy smiled wide revealing his perfectly white straight teeth. "I know."

Why did he seem so pleased by that?

"Don't you have somewhere else you rather be? Like mattress dancing with some poor unfortunate soul."

Darcy smirked. "Last night's adventures will keep me sedated for awhile... trust me."


"You're disgusting."

I tried to turn and walk away, but Darcy reached for the box in my arms and with my lioness like reflexes, I sprung back away from him. I gasped when I lost my footing and fell back into what I can only describe as a mountain of pillows. Ok, so maybe I was a clumsy lioness, but I was still a lioness and it meant I was dangerous.

Very dangerous so Darcy should never underestimate me.

I was embarrassed when Darcy's laughter rang in my ears. My embarrassment quickly turned to anger when I opened my eyes and found I was buried under a bunch of smiling snowmen instead of plain old pillows.

"You know, you could give Charli one of these snowmen instead. She might be just as happy."

"Shut up," I growled.

Darcy laughed as he dug me out of the snowman mountain, and helped me to my feet. I brushed myself off with both my hands then glanced down and gasped.

The doll!

Where the hell was the doll?

I spun around in a complete circle searching for the doll.

"Looking for this, Neala Girl?"

I growled and turned to face him.

I was furious for two reasons. The first was that he once against took the doll out of my grasp. The second was because he called me Neala Girl, a nickname he called me two decades ago, back when we were still friends. I loved when he called me Neala Girl when I was little, but now I couldn't stand it. It hurt my chest.

"Don't call me Neala Girl."

Darcy smirked. "That's your name."

No, it wasn't.

I snarled, "Give me the doll. Now!"

Darcy had the doll box against his chest with both hands on it. His fingers tapped against the box while a smug smile stretched across his face.

He glanced to the snowmen gathered around my feet and teased, "You've got to watch your step, sweetheart."

I blew out a frustrated breath. "I swear if you don't give me that bloody doll I'll-"

Hot Read

Last Updated


Top Books