Prologue for The Line That Breaks

Hi all!

Sorry it’s been a little while since I’ve posted. The Line That Breaks’ release went well and I’ve jumped into a slow start on the next project.

I wanted to pop in to share the prologue for The Line That Breaks here. It was posted at many stops during the blog tour, but I figured I’d share if you missed it.

This prologue is like The Line That Binds prologue, set back in 1864. It shouldn’t spoil anything if you haven’t read the first book.

I hope you enjoy!

 

The Line That Breaks

Prologue

November, 1864

 

Tonight was the last night.

Dahlia pulled on her jacket and stepped into the darkness. The air nipped at her face and fingers, but she pushed on, knowing this would be the last night she knelt before the well.

The moon hovered low on the horizon, giving just enough light to guide her across the still property. Winter was close. Color had fallen from the trees and the sun was setting earlier every day. Travel would be harder now, harsher, making the possibility of finding a new home more difficult. Nevertheless, it wasn’t enough to dissuade Dahlia from leaving. The only thing that worried her now was how the Stocktons would treat her servant mother after she had gone. Mr. Stockton had passed last month, which meant Charles, with some guidance from his mother, was now in charge of the estate.

Dahlia stopped in front of the well and gazed up to the mansion like she had every night for weeks. Noticing a dim light in the farthest of the upstairs windows, she crouched low to hide. It was Charles’ office, not his and Sarah’s bedroom. Unfortunately, Dahlia knew which bedroom was theirs most of all─it could’ve been hers. In the weeks following the wedding, she’d been called upon to help clean their house. Their room. Every time she had to change the blankets on their bed, it made her physically ill. Thoughts of their lovemaking charged her mind. They ripped at her heart every day and haunted her every night. But they also fueled her anger, and kept her coming back to the well.

Seeing no movement within the lit room, she decided to continue. She stayed low and twisted sideways to keep an eye on the window. Digging into her pocket, she removed a thin iron pick. Its rounded tip had been worn close to its base. Her palm gripped the cool metal and its grooves settled into the cuts already etched in her skin. She located the final area of stone then started to scratch.

Hours later, after the last letter was done and her hands were raw and bloody once more, Dahlia read the words aloud and rubbed her hands over the stones. She thought of him as she spoke. Thought of him lying in her bed. His lips caressing hers. His promise for forever.

This was her promise to him and she was certain it would last longer than his had.

It would surpass their lifetimes.

Letting the pick fall to the ground, Dahlia turned toward the house again. A silhouette stood at the window, darkened by the dim light at its back.

It was him.

Charles.

She stared at his figure, knowing he was looking at her too. For one weakened moment, she longed to see his green eyes, taste the breath of his kiss, and feel the comfort of his arms again. Warm tears rolled over her icy cheeks, waking her from the spell.

He’d made his choice.

It wasn’t her.

So she walked away from the well, leaving the darkened figure behind and never looking back.

 

 

And here’s a teaser, just because!

Wellcropben&ljtext

~J.M.

 


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