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Frozen Valentine
Author: E.C. Land

 

Prologue

 

 

Blake


“Blake, why can’t you simply understand what you’re supposed to do?” I cringe at the question my mother asks over the phone. I never should have answered when she called. I didn’t want to talk to her or anyone else.

Between her and my father, who isn’t ever around but seems to think he can control my life, they make me want to scream bloody murder. Seriously what twenty-three-year-old woman wants her parents attempting to control them.

They want me married off to some man I don’t even know. Each time they try I brush them off only to end up giving in to at least meeting these men and going on a blind date. One or two of them I dated more than a handful of times. Until I found them sleeping with other women.

I’m sorry but I don’t want that life. I don’t want my mother’s life. She and my father both have their lovers and know about them. They don’t care and it bugs me that they think it’s okay. It’s not normal and that’s what I want. A normal life without the headache of them trying to set me up with men I don’t want to be with.

Sighing, I close my eyes and pinch the bridge of my nose. “Mother, I’m not going to repeat myself again. I told you and Father both, I refuse to be set up with anyone else.” My dog, Blue, is sitting in the seat next to me looking out the window excited to see the snow falling around the car.

“You’re being ridiculous right now. Ethan is a wonderful man. He’ll be a good suit for you. Now your father is in town tonight and he wants you at the table to meet Ethan,” she chastises.

“Sorry, no can do. I’m not coming over there,” I mutter, looking up at the cabin I’d rented for the next few weeks.

I needed to get away from my parents and their stifling ways. Thank God my brother, Christian, understands me and agrees. He’d been lucky to not have to put up with their incessant ways. Probably because soon as he turned eighteen, he left for the military wanting to get away from them.

Christian didn’t want to leave me to deal with them, but he needed to do what he wanted with his life and I told him so.

Now it’s my turn to do something for myself. I’d graduated college and have spent the last two years under my parents’ thumb.

No more though.

I’m doing my own thing now and I’m looking forward to it.

It’s why I’ve rented this place. To be away from everyone and take the time to find out what I wanted to do with my life. I’ve always loved writing and even have a couple books already written. I thought I could be an author but every time I brought it up to my mother, she’d shoot it down stating I needed to focus on finding my husband. A man who will take care of me. I didn’t need to do something as foolish as follow my dreams.

No, what it comes down to is, she wants to live her life through mine. To be able to take from a man’s pocket what she wants.

“What do you mean you’re not?” she demands snidely and continues her little spew without giving me the chance to answer her question. “I swear, Blake, if you’re not at this table at seven, I will not be pleased, and neither will your father or Ethan. Stop wasting everyone’s time and get your tail to our house.”

“That will be kind of hard to do since I’m not anywhere near home right now. I’m out of town,” I say, grinning as I can envision her face being one of anger for not informing her of this information.

The only one to know where I am is Christian because I’d had him book the place for me. My brother gladly did this knowing my parents would look into my accounts to see. No matter how many times I go about getting them off one account by starting another, they always seem to find a way on to it or to be able to see what I’ve been purchasing.

I swear one day my mother yelled at me for going to CVS to buy tampons. I wanted to wring her neck, only I didn’t, obviously.

“Where are you?” she snaps.

“I’m away for a few weeks.” I’m not about to tell her where I am.

“You need to turn around and come back home, missy. I will not put up with this childish behavior of you running away.”

Are you kidding me?

“Look, Mother, I’m not coming home. End of discussion. I don’t want to be with any of the men you’ve tried to set me up with. They’re all the same type of men, assholes, and I will not be with someone who is going to treat me like dogshit,” I state clearly wanting her to hear me though I know she won’t.

“We’ll discuss this when you get home. I suggest you call me the moment you are back,” she commands and hangs up on me.

Great.

Pulling the phone from my ear, I turn my car off. I’d only just parked the car when she called. I open my car door, Blue bounds out of the confinement ready to explore, and I get out slamming the door shut. I don’t need to worry about Blue wandering off. She’s a husky-wolf mix with beautiful blue eyes, hence her name. My dog is my best friend and protector. Christian gave her to me when I graduated college. Said she would be a good dog for me to have. He couldn’t be wrong.

I quickly grab my bags out of the back seat and rush to the front door, Blue right on my heels when I step onto the porch. Christian told me where to find the key and that he’d had the place stocked with food by the caretaker of the place.

I couldn’t be more than happy to hear this since I didn’t want to keep going outside more than I needed to. The snow had already started to come down and the roads were barely visible by the time I’d been pulling down the dirt road to the cabin. Plus, it’s freezing out there and being in leggings in the cold is not a good idea. But I’d wanted to be comfortable.

After all that’s what this trip is about. Being comfortable and figuring out what I want to do with my life.

I only hope this time away will help me figure out the next phase of my life.

 

 

Chapter One

 

 

Theo


“You need to get out of here,” Leo declares as he stands in front of me with his arms crossed over his chest. As head of the family, he’s a man you don’t mess with unless you want a bullet to the forehead or even a knife slicing your throat.

I’ve been his second in command and right-hand man from the day he took over from my uncle. I enjoy what I do but not right this minute. A week ago, I’d gone to pick up my cousin, Leo’s sister Mia, from a club she’d been at with her friends. Her security detail had been with her but the club being popular was jam packed.

When I’d gotten to the club, I witnessed Mia being shoved into the back of a van. I called Leo on my way as I followed the van to its destination. I refused to wait for anyone to join me. I went in alone and found my cousin already tied to a chair with her face beaten. Someone had taken a blade to her face slicing into her skin.

After I got her untied, I helped her out of the building, but not before taking out several of the men who took her. I recognized them as members of the Gheata family. They’d been trying to force themselves on us and were pissed when Leo refused them the chance. We don’t want anything to do with anything they’re into.

The De Lucas might deal in drugs, but we don’t deal to kids. If we find out one of our dealers is doing this, they end up dead.

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