The Turning Tides - By Derrolyn Anderson

Weary from a long day’s work, irritable and depressed, he let himself in to find her perched on the edge of the couch expectantly. She handed him a letter, watching his face change when he recognized the handwriting. The corners of her lips twitched up when he left the room, and she waited triumphantly, legs crossed, ankle twitching.

She strained to hear a muffled cry, followed by crashing sounds and dull thumping thuds that shook the walls. She cringed, taking a few halting steps towards the door. When it was quiet for a few minutes, she reached for the knob, slowly turning it with a grimace.

The room was in complete disarray, bookcase reduced to matchsticks, the lamp shattered into a million pieces, clothes strewn everywhere. He was sitting on the bed with a letter clutched in his shaking hands, shoulders heaving. She entered gingerly, laying her hand gently on his back.

Using her most soothing tone, she purred, “Don’t be so upset baby, she just wasn’t the one for you.”

He turned his head away from her, and his voice was harsh, “I don’t want to talk about it! Leave me alone.”

She paused, continuing, “Hun, I’ve hated girls like her my whole life. Spoiled rich brats! They think they’re entitled to everything. They think they’re better than us.”

He looked up with reddened eyes, “I thought you liked her.”

She shook her head vehemently, “I could tell she was no good the second I laid eyes on her! I knew she was cheating on you before I even saw her with him. She was bound to run off sooner or later.”

“What?” he looked confused, “You read it?”

She continued on her tirade, “Little miss, ‘I’m so smart’… Showing off all her fancy things! I mean, she even has expensive underwear, for God’s sake! And that rich aunt of hers– Olivia said–”

She checked herself, suddenly realizing that she’d gone too far.

“Olivia?” he croaked.

She froze, unable to think of a good enough lie, “Nobody.”

His voice was deadly calm, “How do you know Olivia?”

“She’s just some old friend of the family’s. I met her in Vegas. She warned me all about it… How her family will never accept you. She convinced me to come out and help you to see...” She saw the look on his face and started to back away. “I know what it sounds like… but once I got here I could tell that it was the truth! You’d know it for sure if you talked to Olivia…”

He sprang to his feet, grabbing one of her arms, “She sent you here?”

“She told me what was going on… We wanted to spare you the heartache– Show you what she’s really like. For God’s sake– She’s cheating on you!” She was indignant, “You saw the pictures!”

“You were the one who found them,” he said in a monotone.

“I didn’t want you to make the same mistake I did! You’re too young to settle down…” her voice trailed off when her eyes met his. “I left a good job for you,” she whined pathetically. Her eyes welled up as she started to feel sorry for herself.

He dropped her arm and visibly recoiled, looking horrified, “Oh my God… She was right about you.”

Tears started to streak down her face, stripping away all the artifice, revealing guilty eyes. She wiped them with her wrists and took a step back, “Can’t you see that she’s no good for you? She’s just a spoiled little rich bitch!”

His jaw clenched tightly, and his eyes blazed with anger, “You…”

“I saved you from her!”

He took a step towards her, thrusting the paper in her face. Slowly, and in a controlled voice dripping with menace, he asked, “Where… did you get this?”


Chapter One



“Squeeze it gently, don’t jerk on it.”

I took a breath and held it, pausing for a moment to steady my arm and line up the sights at the end of the barrel. The shots rang out in the confines of the long room, muffled by a headset, but still loud enough to make my ears ring. I cast a sly glance at Paul out of the corner of my eye, stepping back to reel in the paper target with a cluster of holes centered in the middle.

“Nice grouping,” he shook his head with a proud smile, “But don’t get cocky, wait until you try the thirty eight.”

My training was coming along swimmingly, and Evie’s new addition to the security team had turned out to be a godsend. Paul was an expert weapons instructor, and a top