Release date: September 17, 2021
Genres: Dark M/M Romance, Paranormal.
Sometimes during dark times, it’s not always grief and sorrow that will hold you hostage. For Arlo it’s something more.
Arlo thinks his life has already taken a turn for the worst when he loses his husband in a robbery gone horribly wrong. Little does he know, the worst has yet to come. Brokenhearted and barely hanging on, his grief takes him so far from reality he struggles to find his way back. He reaches the point where he’s not sure he wants to. Arlo is ready to lose a little bit of himself with each passing day if it means he can forget about everything he lost that dreadful night of the break in.
Ba Pef, an entity that feeds off people’s misery, is happy to provide Arlo’s mind with plenty of distraction. He’s ready to show Arlo the true meaning of pain, and pleasure. Only, claiming Arlo’s mind, and dreams, isn’t enough for Ba pef. He wants so much more. He wants everything. All of him.
Warning: Please read possible triggers before continuing.
Triggers include mentions of rape, mutilation of side characters, drugs, murder, death, brainwashing, manipulation, possession, unhealthy obsession, stalking, pain kink, knife play, dream sex, ghost sex, non-con, dub-con. This is not a romance. This book includes many dark themes with a touch of horror.
AN EXCERPT FROM Ba-Pef:
I take a step backward, watching as the shower continues spraying water. I must have not turned it off all the way. Maybe I hit it on the way out. None of the possibilities running through my head make any sense. I close my eyes again when I think I spot something moving through the steam. No more alcohol for me, especially not on an empty stomach.
Wanting the sound to go away, I pull open the shower door and turn the water off, making sure to twist the knob tightly toward the left. I even hold onto it for a while as if it will magically twist the opposite way the moment I let go. Swallowing hard, I release it and stare at the faucet for a few minutes before exiting the bathroom. I don’t stop staring at the shower until I’m back in my room. Drip, drip, drip. I pause at the sound, not turning around this time. Shaking my head, I keep walking. It’s probably because I just turned it off. It happens sometimes for a few seconds and then it stops.
I reach the brown cedarwood dresser my father built with his own hands as a wedding gift for me and Michael. We both were overjoyed when we received it, happy to make it our first piece of real furniture in our new home.
The middle drawer rattles as I pull it open. My clothes still smell freshly washed from the dryer sheets Michael would leave in our drawers. I inhale the strong, spring scent before sliding on my favorite pair of black sweatpants and a random white t-shirt.
I take a step back and feel something under my foot. Nothing was there before, so it must have fallen when I took the clothes out. Without looking to see what it is, I wrap my hands around the item. The moment I lift it in the air, I immediately drop it, stepping back into the dresser. My mind has to be playing tricks on me. I open my mouth to call for Sandra, but her name doesn’t come out and remains stuck in my throat. When I swallow, my throat is so dry it aches and my voice comes out hoarse when I yell, “Sandra, you out there?”
Rushed footsteps come closer and in only a few minutes, the door opens and Sandra appears on the other side of it with a worried expression. “What is it? Are you okay?”
I nod, side-stepping away from the item on the floor again, pointing in its direction with a shaky hand. “Do you see that?”
She tilts her head. “You mean the necklace on the floor?”
I nod. “It’s a locket. Michael’s locket. It’s really there then?”
She inches closer with her forehead wrinkling. “Yes. What’s going on? Arlo, you’re shaking. Do you want me to put it away somewhere? Would that be better?”
I shake my head, bending down to pick it up from the ground. The gold chain wraps around my fingers, and it’s cold and heavy in my hand. “I don’t know how it got in here. It shouldn’t be in here.”
“What do you mean? Was Michael wearing it the day he…the day…”
Sandra can’t finish her sentence and neither can I. She can tell I know what she was going to say, so she doesn’t try again. The words working up my throat chill me to the bone when they ring loud between us. Hearing them out loud makes it more real. “No.” My heart beats quickly in my chest and chills run down my spine the more I stare at the necklace. “He was buried with it.”