Friday, October 19, 2018
Desperate by A.K. Evans
Ekko Rose is no stranger to struggle. Born to a single, addicted mother, she’s experienced more than her fair share of hardship. Ekko has dreams she wants to fulfill, but when another stroke of bad luck leaves her homeless, her only option is to focus on survival.
Dominick ‘Dom’ Moore has had his eyes on Ekko ever since he saved her life several months ago. He kept his distance then because she was attached to another man. Now, seeing her living out of her car, Dom resolves to help her get back on her feet.
When Dom approaches Ekko, she wrestles with knowing her rightful place in the world and desperately wanting to latch onto something better.
Just as the pair fall hard for one another, Ekko’s streak of misfortune delivers one more blow. With their relationship thrown into a pit of despair and hopeless desire, Dom must crack the case he’s been trying to solve for weeks.
Because if he can’t, Ekko might be lost to him forever.
“Ekko?” Dom’s panicked voice came from the doorway.
My eyes left Levi and went to Dom. He took one look at me and immediately directed his attention to Ryan. Instead of coming to me, Dom took slow, deliberate steps toward Ryan. My body grew tense. Levi must have noticed because he squeezed my shoulder a little tighter. A few more men, who had to have been with Dom, appeared in the doorway, but I couldn’t pay attention to them.
Dom was closing in on Ryan, who continued to walk backward until his back was up against the wall. Dom’s hand shot out and gripped Ryan around the throat.
“Why is there blood on her face?” Dom seethed.
“It…it was her own fault,” Ryan stammered.
Dom’s fingers squeezed a little tighter. “I’m sorry, did I just hear you say it was her fault?”
Ryan’s eyes grew wide.
One of the guys in the doorway, who bared a resemblance to Levi, but had longer hair that was somewhere between blonde and brown, warned, “Dom’s a crazy motherfucker, man. You might want to consider how you answer that question.”
I recognized the guy from the night I was nearly kidnapped. He had been there with Dom that night, but I couldn’t remember his name.
Another guy, with shorter dark hair and a body that was just as nice as the rest of them, added, “Yeah. I remember what he did years ago to the guy who thought beating and sexually assaulting Levi and Cruz’s sister-in-law was acceptable. Dom had no personal attachment to that girl and her ex was begging for mercy when Dom was through with him. I can’t imagine what he’d do to someone who hurt a woman who was special to him.”
I gasped while Ryan’s eyes shifted back and forth.
“She was reaching for her phone and pushed me,” Ryan explained. “I pushed her away from me and she fell.”
Now Dom’s gaze looked a lot like Levi’s did when he first arrived…lethal.
“You pushed her?”
“She pushed me first!” Ryan tried to reason.
Keeping his hand at Ryan’s throat, Dom stepped to the side and looked over at me. “Do you see her?”
Ryan didn’t answer.
“I asked you a question!” Dom roared.
“Yes, I see her.” Ryan’s voice was small.
“So, that woman, who is maybe a hundred and ten pounds, moved toward you to get her phone that you had, and you pushed her? I don’t like seeing my woman with blood on her face and, lucky for you, I need to see to her right now, so you’re going to give me her phone without another minute of delay.”
Ryan quickly pulled the phone out of his pocket and handed it to Dom.
Not taking his eyes off Ryan, Dom called, “Ekko, come here.”
I was still stuck on Dom calling me his woman that I couldn’t move.
Dom realized I hadn’t moved and turned his head toward me. With his gaze laser-focused on me, he urged, “Ekko, come here.”
Levi brought his hand to my lower back and gave me a nudge. I moved toward Dom.
When I was standing next to him, Dom asked, “Why did you come here?”
My lip quivered, and I dropped my gaze to the ground.
His voice went soft and he said, “Sugar, look at me.”
When I looked at Dom, his voice, still gentle, asked, “What did you come here for?”
“I don’t have a ton of nice clothes, but I had a few things here that I wanted to get before tonight. I wanted to look pretty for our date. But Ryan wouldn’t let me get my things.”
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A.K. Evans is a married mother of two boys residing in a small town in northeastern Pennsylvania. After graduating from Lafayette College in 2004 with two degrees (one in English and one in Economics & Business), she pursued a career in the insurance and financial services industry. Not long after, Evans realized the career was not for her. She went on to manage her husband’s performance automotive business and drive the shop race cars for the next thirteen years. While the business afforded her freedoms she wouldn’t necessarily have had in a typical 9-5 job, after eleven years she was no longer receiving personal fulfillment from her chosen career path. Following many discussions, lots of thought, and tons of encouragement, Andrea decided to pursue her dream of becoming a writer.
Between her day job, writing, and homeschooling her two boys, Evans is left with very little free time. When she finds scraps of spare time, she enjoys reading, doing yoga, watching NY Rangers hockey, dancing, and vacationing with her family. Andrea, her husband, and her children are currently working on taking road trips to visit all 50 states (though, Alaska and Hawaii might require flights).