Stay With Me – Book 4: Confessions
Stephano must outwit their enemies.
In this suspenseful conclusion to Kyra’s romantic tale, he walks into danger to defend their love.
“Stephano considered his strategy. There were pitfalls, too many things that could go wrong. He would have to make sure they didn’t. Stephano closed his eyes, thinking of Kyra. He would need to ensure that no harm came to her.”
Their oppressor fights back, but Kyra and Stephano refuse to give in. Confessions light the way, but create new challenges. Their only hope is to get to the truth. What Kyra wants, more than anything, is to be with the man she loves.
“Kyra just wanted to be swept away in his arms, get lost in the fire of his gaze. “Once this is all over,” Stephano whispered, lips close to hers, “we are going to get married. I’m going to take you away, baby…I promise.”
Then Kyra placed her palms on his cheeks. “That’s a promise I’m going to make you keep.”
Will Kyra find her happily-ever-after with Stephano? Or lose him forever?
This was an amazing conclusion of Kyra’s stor, just sad that it’s over. I love the thrill and suspense of everything that happened in this book. No matter what was thrown at Kyra and Stephano he always took care of what he loved and cared for. Troy wanted to hurt Kyra by any means necessary and Stephano did everything in his power to keep her safe! Will he be able to and will they get to live together happy and free if Troy? I was sad that it ended. Hopefully we will get to read more of their story!Nikki A.
Without giving anything away, all I have to say is “KARMA”!!! Sometimes getting even is the best form of punishment and Kyra finally got her “even”. Love this series, cant wait for the next book. Don’t forget to read all of Emily Jane Trents books, you will NEVER go wrong. D. West
Stay With Me
Book 4: Confessions
Kyra leaned her head against the back of the elevator, willing it to hurry up. Using the metal rail for balance, she closed her eyes, with images of the night before filling her thoughts. Stephano had been romantic as well as sexy, making the evening one she wouldn’t soon forget.
Mentally foggy from lack of sleep, Kyra craved the triple espresso that was moments away, just what she needed to revive. The night she’d just spent with Stephano had sapped her strength, but her body hummed with satisfaction. A jolt of caffeine would fix everything.
When the ding sounded, Kyra pressed away from the wall, wobbling slightly as she stepped into the hall. Putting her hand over her mouth, she yawned. That espresso couldn’t come soon enough. Glancing around, she spotted the main hall that led to the café.
The polished floors and marble walls reflected the bright light, making Kyra squint. As gracefully as she could, she strode with purpose toward her destination. Then, without warning, there was a movement nearby, causing her to suck in her breath.
There was nothing to fear, since Kyra was inside the luxury hotel. Yet a finger of terror crept up her spine the instant before she heard the voice. It came from a dark alcove to her left, but Kyra couldn’t see who was there.
She didn’t need to. It was a voice that made her skin crawl.
“Hello, Kyra.” She tried to make out his form in the dimly lit space. The realization that Troy was within arm’s reach made her legs tremble and her hands shake.
She stood in the hall but did not step any closer. Random thoughts flashed through her mind, but failed to offer a means of escape. If Kyra ran, he would catch her in an instant. Screaming was the natural response, but she muffled it, uncertain whether the man had a gun.
“Come closer,” Troy said.
Kyra swallowed hard, taking a couple of tentative steps. With her legs feeling wooden and her mind numb, her reactions were slow. The sight of Troy was abhorrent, his dark clothes giving him an ominous appearance.
In the split second it took for Troy to act, Kyra’s survival instinct took over. Adrenaline flooded her veins, making her heart pound. Suddenly alert, she knew there had to be a way to let Stephano know about the encounter, that Troy had her.
While Troy hung back in the shadows, Kyra turned away from him, reaching for the clasp of her necklace. With her hands hidden by her long hair, she deftly undid the necklace. The second that passed seemed like minutes.
Troy spoke quietly, his tone vicious. “You betrayed me.”
Slowly, Kyra turned to face him, clutching the necklace in her fist so he wouldn’t see it. “I don’t know what you mean.”
His deep laugh echoed in the recess. Troy had lain in wait for her, something Kyra hadn’t expected. But there was no time to consider that, because a strong arm reached out of the darkness to yank her forward.
“Don’t lie to me.” Troy’s voice had an edge that made Kyra shudder. With his hand on her upper arm, her oppressor dragged her forward, down the hall. She opened her fist, letting the necklace drop to the floor, praying Troy wouldn’t notice.
With a tight grip on her arm, Troy pulled her along, giving Kyra no way to resist. The brute outweighed her, and his viciousness seemed to lend him extra strength. The bruising of her arm from Troy’s manhandling would be minor compared to how he had hurt her in the past.
Kyra cringed at being under the abuser’s control, not clear on what he had in mind. It was possible his rage would blind him to the consequences of his actions, compelling him to hurt Kyra, despite how ill-advised that was. Without her cooperation, Troy would not get his hands on his precious document, knowledge that Kyra desperately clung to.
A pungent odor filled Kyra’s nostrils, a mixture of cheap soap and underarm odor, causing her to breathe shallowly. A sheen of sweat glistened on Troy’s skin, making her wonder how long he had been hiding in the poorly ventilated alcove.
The sight of his rough beard and shaggy hair made Kyra recoil. Yet when she pulled back, Troy tightened his grip and yanked her roughly. Finding her voice, Kyra yelled out, “Let me go.” Jerking to a stop, Troy whipped a blade from his belt, holding the cold steel against her neck.
“Quiet,” he said, resuming their march forward.
At the end of the hall, Troy leaned on the handle so the door swung open, letting in the brisk outside air in a rush. Pulling Kyra, he walked out onto the sidewalk. With strides so forceful that Kyra nearly tripped, Troy dragged her away from the hotel exit then turned into an enclosed courtyard. There he shoved her down onto a concrete bench that was as cold as a block of ice.
The sweater Kyra wore didn’t provide enough warmth. The icy air pierced straight through to her skin, making her shiver. Looking up, she flinched at the fury in Troy’s eyes. “How did you know I’d be alone?” she said.
Troy smirked. “I didn’t. But I guess my patience paid off.”
It occurred to Kyra that her attacker had lurked inside the hotel, even while she had enjoyed Stephano’s company in the privacy of their room. Letting her guard down, she had slipped out of the room only minutes ago, confident that Stephano was right behind her.
Yet that wasn’t good enough. Her separation from Stephano had given Troy the opportunity he sought. Now she faced him, unsure how to proceed. There had to be a way to make him let her go, but, faced with Troy’s aggression, she was unable to think of one.
“How did you know I was staying at this hotel?” Kyra said.
Troy towered over her. “You ask too many questions, bitch.”
Kyra’s mind raced, yet she couldn’t settle on a course of action. It was true that she had something he wanted, but his rough treatment of her made her doubt using that to her advantage. Troy grabbed a fistful of her hair and yanked her head back, exposing her neck.
“Now, you will tell me what I want to know.” As if to stress his statement, Troy placed the knife under her jaw, the sharpness frightening.
Kyra mustered her strength, knowing that a show of weakness might be all Troy would need to finish her off. Lifting her chin, despite the menacing blade against her skin, Kyra said, “What is it you want to know?” It was voiced as a challenge, a feeble attempt to get the creep to back off.
Unexpectedly, Troy laughed, a sound devoid of mirth, only filled with derision. He released Kyra’s hair, but didn’t move away. “Do you remember what it’s like to have a man to answer to, Kyra?”
Kyra tensed, uncertain of where this was going.
“Do you?” Troy barked.
She just stared at him.
“Well, you should,” he said. “You need a man to keep you in line, to put you in your place. You’ve forgotten that, haven’t you, Kyra?”
Troy’s eyes were glassy, and the pitch of his voice rose as he spoke. Seeing him after so long, Kyra realized that she hadn’t really known him at all. Looking at him now, his urgent need to force her to cower was evident. It was as though Troy wore his insecurity like an ugly cloak that he was unable to remove.
Still Kyra kept quiet, not wanting to further incite him. Rationality escaped Troy, giving him the appearance of one who had lost touch with reality. Most shocking was the fact that he believed he had power over her, that Kyra would bend to his will now that he had her in his grasp.
That realization ignited a spark of anger inside Kyra. “I have no need for you, Troy. I never did.” Fueling his anger was worth the satisfaction of saying exactly how she felt. In a flash, Troy’s hand whipped out, the sound of the slap to her cheek cracking through the air like lightning.
Kyra gasped, placing her palm over the stinging skin.
“Now, I trust you won’t smart-mouth me.” Troy looked pleased, making it clear he actually enjoyed hitting her. “You always were too uppity. Even though you were, and still are, beneath me. Your father is an accountant, for Christ’s sake.”
Troy took a raspy breath, words spilling from his mouth, uncontrolled. “You should have been flattered that I took an interest in you, Kyra. You, an aspiring actress, had the fortune of dating me. My father owns Bauer Productions.”
Kyra listened to him in amazement.
“You had a chance that any other woman would have appreciated,” Troy said. “I could have helped your career. You could have actually been someone, Kyra. But no, you ran from me. And then what? You modeled for a living?” A derisive laugh spoke more than words could have.
Troy put his fingers under her chin, the touch making her cringe. “Modeling…” The laugh again. “It’s no better than being a whore,” he said, “which is all you are.”
“You are nothing to me,” Kyra said, tears welling in her eyes despite her effort to hold them back. The last thing she wanted was for Troy to see that he’d had an effect on her. “Just leave me alone.”
Troy seethed, his body going rigid. “I don’t have time for this right now,” he said, glancing toward the parking lot. It was a clue. There was something or someone out there Troy was looking for, probably waiting for.
Kyra intended to stall as much as she could. It wouldn’t be long until Stephano would realize she wasn’t in the café and come looking for her. It was stupid of Troy to hang around the hotel, but maybe he wouldn’t realize his mistake until it was too late.
Troy glared at her. “So where is it?”
“I don’t know why you persist in terrorizing me,” Kyra said. “The scrapbook was delivered to you, as agreed.”
A sinister chuckle escaped Troy’s lips. “And what about the item you removed from it?”
The silence grew heavy between them, but Kyra did not back down, just glared back at him.
Troy clenched his hands into fists. “Where is it, Kyra?”
Needling the weasel of a man gave her perverse pleasure, so Kyra repeated what she had said before. “I don’t know what you are talking about.”
Troy yanked her to her feet, making her heart threaten to leap out of her chest. “You will pay for that lie,” he said, his foul breath grazing her cheek. “You will give me what I want. Delaying will make it harder on you.” His eyes darkened. “You will pay for your defiance.”
A cold chill ran down Kyra’s spine. Troy meant what he said. He lacked social skills, or morals, apparently. But he made up for it in brutality, forcing others to do his bidding. The longer Kyra resisted him, the more his anger flared.
Glancing over the garden wall just as a sedan with darkened windows pulled up, Kyra instantly knew it was the ride Troy had been waiting for. Grabbing her arm, he dragged her in the direction of the car, its engine still running.
This could not happen. Once Troy got her in that car, Kyra would be at his mercy. That had to be prevented. Flailing her body in front of Troy, she halted him. Before the disgusting man could react, Kyra summoned all her strength, kneeing him hard in the groin.
His loud grunt told Kyra that she had succeeded in disabling Troy. But it wouldn’t be for long. He gasped for breath, bent over with his hand between his legs. The pain garnered all his attention for a split second, which was all that Kyra needed.
She slipped from his grasp, running toward the hotel with Troy right behind her. Kyra couldn’t afford to lose her advantage; she had to get away. Then his hand closed over the back of her sweater, slowing her down.
Panic-stricken, Kyra pulled against the restraint, but was unable to get free. Her sweater pulled back hard, and she went with it, falling to the ground. Kyra saw the glint of Troy’s knife in his hand. The blade flashed silver in the sunlight. Kyra’s eyes widened, realizing he would force her to go with him.