By Natasha Preston
They think they’re invincible.
They think they can do and say whatever they want.
They think there are no consequences.
They’ve left me no choice.
It’s time for them to pay for their sins.
A weekend partying at a remote cabin is just what Mackenzie needs. She can’t wait to let loose with her friends. But a crazy night of fun leaves two of them dead—murdered.
With no signs of a forced entry or struggle, suspicion turns to the five survivors. Someone isn’t telling the truth. And Mackenzie’s first mistake? Assuming the killing is over...
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Straightening his back, Blake walked around the double bed and gripped my arms. “Well, that sounds like a plan. I definitely don’t want you feeling horrendous all day so…” He slid a hand down the bare skin of my arm until he reached my hand. With a little tug, he towed me out of the room and downstairs.
We stopped at the bottom of the wooden stairs to assess the damage. Bottles, shot glasses, and snack wrappers littered the coffee table and floor around it. There were more empty bottles of alcohol than I remembered. No wonder we felt rough.
Blake stood behind me, his chest pressed right against my back and a hand on my hip. I liked the contact a lot.
“This explains the drilling in my head,” he murmured, leaning down to nip my neck. Spinning around, I slapped his arm playfully, laughing. Bad move. My head throbbed with the quick movement, but Blake’s boyish grin made my heart swell.
Another bad move. Don’t get too involved with him. When we went home, Blake would be back off to his dad’s, and who knew when I’d see him again. If ever.
A door upstairs opened and closed. I stepped around Blake to watch Megan hobble down. She looked as good as I felt. “Kenzie?” she whispered. “I think I’m dying.”
Laughing quietly, I replied, “You too, huh?”
“Bloody hell. How much did we drink?” she muttered, leaning heavily against the bannister as she made the final steps downstairs. She hadn’t drunk much, but it was still more than she usually did.
“We’re getting old,” I joked. “We can’t handle it anymore.”
Kyle was sprawled out on the floor with his mouth wide open, breathing deeply, his jet--black hair stuck out in all directions like a bird’s nest. Aaron was curled up beside him, sleeping in the fetal position. They clearly couldn’t handle the amount of alcohol either. They were both in the same place Blake and I had left them last night.
Blake watched us with a curiosity I didn’t quite understand. I had a feeling he didn’t have many close friends, which was a shame, because beyond that I--don’t--care attitude, he was a great guy. I thought—-from what I’d seen, anyway.
“Where’re Josh and Courtney?” Megan asked.
I shrugged. “I don’t hear anyone else up, so maybe they’re asleep still. God, Megan, I need aspirin.”
Kyle’s eyes flicked open and widened as he saw how close Aaron was to him. I felt so rough I couldn’t even laugh when he shoved him away, making Aaron wake with a gasp.
Aaron looked up, dazed. “What?” He rubbed his eyes and winced. “Christ!”
“I’m making tea. Everyone in?” I asked, receiving grunts in replace of a yes and a look of disgust from Blake. I smiled, remembering what he’d wanted before. “Coffee for you, Blake.”
I walked into the kitchen; my head was swimming, and everything looked a little fuzzy. A sea of red flashed in front of my eyes. I blinked hard.
You’re losing it.
Opening my eyes again, I stared at the floor. It took me a few moments to register what I was seeing. Bright, thick blood stretched from the middle of the kitchen to what looked like behind the island.
I gasped. There was so much blood. My heart raced and the ends of my fingertips tingled. The metallic smell filled my lungs and made me gag. My body turned cold and started to shake. What…?
“Courtney?” I whispered, not even hearing my own voice over the ringing in my ears.
Oh God, don’t pass out, Mackenzie.
Someone came up behind me. “What the…” Kyle whispered, stepping around me. “Shit. Stay back, Kenz.”
Blake was right behind Kyle. “What’s going on?” he asked.
Against Kyle’s orders, I stepped around the kitchen island and my stomach lurched. “No,” I cried, pressing my hand over my mouth as bile rose in my throat. Courtney and Josh lay on the floor in a pool of crimson blood.