To Kill A Siren: 3/15/19
A love worth fighting for
Lexi River had only one job–keep Gareth Blaze out of trouble and on time for his appointments. For the most part, Lexi was able to keep Gareth’s nose clean and his name out of the tabloids. Usually any mischief he found himself in was easily taken care of with a few phone calls; until Gareth fell head over heels for a mysterious girl named Genevieve.
Genevieve was otherworldly and elegant. Lexi hated her from day one. There was something not quite right about her, but Lexi could never figure out what bothered her about Genevieve. Everyone chalked it up to jealousy, until Lexi’s worse fears about Genevieve were realized when she causes Gareth to lose his fortune in a business deal gone bad.
Penniless, both Gareth and Lexi are forced to return to their childhood hometown in Kentucky. It was a place neither one of them wanted to see again, but Lexi was determined to make the best of the situation. Things were finally looking up for the pair. That is until Gareth fell violently ill and Lexi was charged with his attempted murder.
“Gareth, I don’t know how to break this to you, but you are broke. You barely have enough in your accounts to get you through this week, let alone a dry spell.” Lexi explained as she pecked away on her laptop. The blue light reflected off the lenses of her reading glasses.
Gareth flopped back onto the couch. His coal black hair was cut short except for his bangs, which stopped just below his electric blue eyes. He rubbed his hands over his face. “What does that even mean, Lexi?”
Lexi closed the lid to the computer and pushed her chair away from the desk. She took off her reading glasses and rubbed her tired eyes. Her long red hair was piled on her head in a bun she pulled loose. It fell down her back in soft waves. She turned and looked at Gareth laying back with his eyes covered. How could she possibly tell him the truth? She summoned all of her strength, bracing for the onslaught. “I think you know what it means, Gare.”
Gareth shot up off the couch and punched his fist into the wall. “I’m not going back to that place! After all I have done to escape it, why would I go back now?” The frustration in his voice bounced off the walls.
“Because you will have to liquidate everything to survive! The only thing you will have left after all of this is that house. I know it isn’t what you want to hear, but for right now it is the only solution I can offer. We need to regroup and that happens back at home.”
Gareth pressed his face against the wall. He let the coolness of the air conditioning pour over him. Deep down he knew Lexi was right. She’d never steer him wrong. She was the only one in his inner circle that had known him before he made it big and the only one that knew about home. Lexi River had been Gareth’s friend since they were teenagers back in Kentucky. “How did this happen, Lexi? Is this what my dad predicted?”
Lexi sighed. “Your dad was an abusive drunk, Gareth. He was projecting his own misfortune onto you when he said those things. If he were alive today, I think he would have changed his tune. This isn’t failure, Gareth; it’s a minor setback.”
“Really? I remember him telling me he was leaving the house for me in that virtual trust so I could have a roof over my head when I screwed up. I dunno, Lexi, seems kind of like I messed up and doing what he said I would do.”
Lexi knew there was no consoling him when he got like this. The verbal abuse Gareth’s dad poured out on him over the years left its mark. Nothing ever impressed Bret Veles when it came to his son. Not the 4.0 GPA, not the gold medal in swimming, and certainly not Gareth’s supernatural ability to never lose a bet. By the time Gareth had the final falling out with his dad, he had already made half a million dollars in a well-placed stock market gamble. Yet, it was his love for poker that drove him to move to Vegas.
Lexi knew deep down Bret was proud of Gareth and that final fight was Bret fearing losing his son. In the end, Bret’s fear would be what pushed Gareth out the door. She was there helping Gareth pack the night his dad had told him about the virtual trust. Lexi knew it was Bret’s way of trying to take care of his son, but Gareth saw it as a challenge to never come back. Gareth tried for a few months to get the trust dissolved so he could sell the house, but Lexi intervened and stopped the dissolution every time. It didn’t feel right to her. After a few more months, when Gareth became a professional high roller in Las Vegas, he forgot all about the trust. Until now.
“Gare, I am not in the mood for your childish games. I have to make arrangements to get you out of this mess so we can leave.”
“But I’m Gareth Blaze! I don’t run away from a challenge.”
Lexi shook her head. “No, Gare, Gareth Blaze died when you bet all of your assets on a stupid scheme from some girl you barely knew. I told you it was a bad idea!”
Gareth licked his lips in a failed attempt to not crack a smile. He loved how the lightning flashed in Lexi’s green eyes whenever she spoke of the disastrous deal he went into with his ex-girlfriend, Genevieve. “Come on, Lexi, I’d almost say you were jealous of Genevieve the way you are acting. It wasn’t her fault. I made a bad bet.”
Quite infuriated at the whole predicament, Lexi screamed. “Yes, and we see who here must pick up the pieces! It isn’t you or Genevieve. It’s me, Lexi River, PA extraordinaire.” She picked up the nearest ledger and slammed it across the room. Papers flew out of the heavy book and landed on the marble floor. Tears were streaming down her face as she returned to the laptop on her desk.
Gareth crossed the room and stood behind Lexi’s chair and pulled her away from the desk. He spun her chair around to face him. Lexi tried to turn her chair back because she was not in the mood to have further dealings with Gareth. It was a pointless struggle because he held tight to both arms of the chair refusing to let Lexi swing away.
“Lexi, I’m sorry I messed this up. I know I put a lot on you, but I can’t trust anyone like I do you. I know you will fix the situation.”
“Funny, you didn’t trust me enough to not listen to that harlot you were dating.”
Want more? This book launches on 3/15/19, but for a limited time I am accepting advanced reader copy (ARC) applications. You can apply here by selecting the Siren ARC button.