Shades of Resolution by Aimee McNeil
Distortion Series; Book 3
Release Date: January 17, 2017
Published by: Limitless Press
Lexie Wilder must live with the trauma of her mother’s death, as well as the enemies she left behind…
Her mother gave up everything to protect her, and now Lexie is alone. The only light in her life is Jackson Finley, the policeman who saved her life and captivated her heart. But of all the dangers lurking, Jackson may be the greatest. He’s the only man who holds the power to break her. Can Lexie trust him if he finds out who her father really is?
Jackson would do anything for Lexie, even if it means risking everything…
Jackson walks a thin line between the law he swore to uphold, and the world of crime he’s supposed to fight. He’s determined to put the pieces of Lexie’s life back together. But in doing so, will he destroy her and everyone she holds dear? And if all the pieces fall into place, can he walk away from the vengeance he’s sought his whole life?
Opportunity can be found in unexpected places…
Lexie soon realizes she has more enemies waiting in the shadows. This could provide the leverage she needs to get out alive…if she’s careful. Lexie is better prepared now to face the minefield she finds herself in, and she vows to take her life back, even if it means willingly walking into the fire.
Will Jackson stand by her side? Or will she have to face the darkness alone?
The room spun as Nate pushed his exhausted body out of bed. He drug his feet over the coarse carpet, supporting himself against the wall as a wave of vertigo hit him. He leaned his head against his arm as he waited for the gripping feeling to subside. The liquor and drugs in his system were starting to fade and the beginning of an angry hangover was beginning to claw at his stomach. The smell of the dingy wall in dire need of cleaning did not do him any favors.
He looked up when the sound of voices began to infiltrate the fog in his head and he noticed he’d left the television on. For a moment he forgot where he was until his memories slowly allowed him access. Once Stephanie had been cleared at the hospital, they had brought her back to the motel to be with Lexie.
The thought of Stephanie and that horrid place made his insides turn and he bolted into the washroom. He barely made it to the toilet before he violently expelled the contents of his stomach. Nate turned on the sink and splashed water on his face. He grabbed the hand towel and dried himself off as he looked at his reflection. His eyes were red and dark circles hung heavy underneath. He looked exactly how he felt. When he turned off the water, the television grabbed his attention.
“…Belhaven is in a state of shock this morning when it was discovered that Mayor Terence Masten has a darker side than anyone could have imagined. A property that has been linked to Masten was found to have a young woman held prisoner…”
Nate pushed himself off the counter and walked into the main area to see the broadcast. Footage of the exterior of the house was on the screen. Crime scene tape was everywhere but he didn’t need the footage to know how shocking the scene was. He had seen it for himself and the images still haunted him.
“It is known that Masten was on the property at the time authorities arrived and was arrested. The last we heard the woman is being treated for minor injuries. At this time we do not have all the details, but we do know the tale does not end there. Human remains found in shallow graves on the property indicate the situation is far more terrible than originally believed. The number of victims is still undetermined at this time. As the numbers climb, people are left wondering how they did not know their beloved Mayor was capable of such a horrific crime.”
Nate hit the power button and stood staring at the black screen for a moment, frozen with the reporter’s words tumbling around in his throbbing head. He shoved the television off the entertainment unit and watched it crash to the floor. Ever since he saw Stephanie’s tattoo and remembered hearing Masten call her by his mother’s name, the realization carved away at him like a sharp knife. He couldn’t stomach the truth of what this meant.
Nate spun around and walked over to his nightstand where his gun was sitting. He grabbed the handle and stalked back into the bathroom. He pulled the shower curtain back and stepped into the tub.
He dropped down into the tub and stared at the gun in his hands but all he could see was the lake house and that cage in the basement. He’d spent his whole life hating the mother who abandoned him and left him to a father who disowned him for a new family that wanted nothing to do with him. Hatred was so much easier to swallow than the pain of what was now presented to him. Instead of mourning his beautiful mother like he should have, he’d torn her memory down until he had erased her completely from his life.
Nate leaned his head back against the tile and wiped the tears from his face with the back of his shaking hand. He took a deep breath and slid the gun into his mouth. He didn’t let himself think about what he was doing. He acted numbly, desperate to evade the pain as he pulled the trigger.
The sound of the empty click barely registered over his heartbeat filling his ears like rushing water.
“Jesus, Nate,” Jackson blurted as he rushed into the bathroom and pulled the gun from his hands. “You didn’t think I would actually leave you alone with a loaded gun after how you acted yesterday.”
Nate looked up at him as he dropped his hands in his lap. He couldn’t even bring himself to respond. His mind was still digesting the fact that he was still alive.
Jackson grabbed him by the shoulders and hauled him out of the tub. Nate didn’t resist as Jackson walked him out of the bathroom. “I can’t believe you just did that. Don’t pull that fucking shit again.” Jackson led him toward the bed and guided him to the edge.
Nate sat numbly staring at the wall. The sound of a high pitched whistling filled his head and fogged his mind. His head felt too full, like it was ready to explode.
“…can you even hear me?” Jackson asked, leaning down in front of him. “Nate?” He slapped him lightly on the side of the face, which brought him back from being lost inside his head.
“Yeah,” Nate responded lazily as he blinked his eyes and tried to focus. The outlines of his vision blurred.
“What the hell happened at the lake house?”
“Get my wallet.” Nate waved languidly toward the nightstand.
Jackson looked over at the wallet and then back at Nate.
“Just get it. There’s a picture tucked inside.”
Jackson opened it up and pulled out the picture. He studied it for a moment before looking up at Nate. “Who’s this?” Jackson asked in confusion.
“That’s my mother. Remember how I told you she fucking left me when I was barely five years old and never came back?” Nate squeezed hid eyes shut.
“That tattoo on her neck…Stephanie’s. It’s identical to my mother’s,” Nate confessed as he took a deep breath and looked up at Jackson.
Realization dawned on Jackson’s face. “It could just be a coincidence.”
“Her name was Rose. That’s what Masten called Stephanie.”
“I saw the news about there being other victims.” Nate raked his hand down his face. “I can feel it, Jackson. I could feel it when I was there. I hated my mother my whole life for leaving me and now there could be a very horrible reason why she never came back. She deserved better from me,” Nate sobbed.
Jackson dropped on the bed next to Nate without saying a word. Nate wasn’t sure how much time passed as Jackson just sat beside him. One of the things he liked best about Jackson was that he knew the value of silence. He closed his eyes to take deep, even breaths as he came down from his adrenaline high and pain and exhaustion began to grip him again.
“You didn’t hate her, Nate, or you wouldn’t have carried her around with you all these years.” Jackson held up the picture still in his hand. “I’m not gonna let you give up,” Jackson said firmly.
“What now?” Nate asked, searching Jackson’s eyes.
“Let’s just start with you living another day and we’ll go from there. You have enough people trying to kill you. Let’s not make it too easy for them.”
“Fuck…where’s that gun?” Nate moaned.
“I’m keeping it for now.” Jackson gave him a pat on the shoulder with a pained smile. “Get yourself cleaned up. We need to take the girls back to Freyview.”
“You still want me to come?” Nate asked.
“Yeah, we need you.” Jackson tucked the picture back in Nate’s wallet and set it back on the nightstand.
Nash rubbed his hands down his face and fell back on the bed. “It’s so much easier to hate, isn’t it?”
“Don’t I fucking know it,” Jackson sighed.
Meet the Author:
Aimee McNeil was born and raised in Nova Scotia, Canada, where she continues to live today with her husband and three children. She is a stay-at-home mother that loves every colorful moment with her family.
Aimee spends most of her free time indulging in her love of writing. You can also find her lost in the pages of a good book, or making a mess with her paints. Aimee loves to explore anything that promotes creativity. It is one of the many reason she enjoys writing.
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