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Britney King LLC

HER: A Psychological Thriller (Ebook)

HER: A Psychological Thriller (Ebook)

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About The Book

“After four, I quit counting. What’s the point if you know it isn’t going to stop?”

Sadie is jealous. Why wouldn’t she be? Her life is falling apart. Meanwhile, her new neighbor is everything she is not.

Ann is perfect—the kind of woman everyone loves to hate—and a best friend to die for. She hosts over-the-top dinner parties, takes parenting to an entirely different level, and makes ambition look sexy as hell.  

Sadie learns quick: the best way to cure jealousy is to befriend it. She also learns there’s more to her new friend than meets the eye. She’s patient, she’s kind, and possibly a serial killer.

It isn’t until Ann’s proclivities hit a little too close to home that Sadie has to ask herself how much she’s willing to overlook in the name of getting what she wants.

Exquisitely paced, Her is an unnerving and electrifying psychological thriller about jealousy, passion, and the dangerous places desire can take you. Full of enough tension and twists to make even the most seasoned suspense reader break out in a cold sweat, it keeps you guessing until the very last page.

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PROLOGUE

Now

I wish someone had told me: worry is a waste of time. The real troubles of your life will be things that never even bothered to cross your mind.

Nine months, three days, and nineteen hours, I’ve lived down the street from her. If you really think about it, a person can do a lot in nine months. They can gestate a fetus and deliver it safely into the world, and they can also plant roots and create an entirely different life altogether. That’s what she did.

Not that I realized it at the time, but in essence, that’s what she helped me to do, too. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander, as they say. Only she isn’t a bird. She can’t just fly away, the way she thinks she can.

She thinks she can migrate, start a new life elsewhere, someplace where she can be whatever she wants to be. But she’s forgetting two things: wherever you go, there you are. Also, there are people like me.

When I moved to this boring, homogeneous, monotonous little town, I did so with one intention and one intention only: to have a nice life. A quiet life.

That’s not how it played out. Not even close.

First, it was good. And then it got bad before it got good again.

I met her and life changed.

What can I say? I got swept up in it. She makes it easy. Her, with her impractical shoes and her perpetually sunny nature. For me, she always has felt a bit like spring in the middle of winter. She was then, and still is to me now, just about the most wonderful thing in the world.

But there’s something to be said for that. Something I hadn’t realized at the start. It was a new experience for me, and I felt dizzy for a while. Like most things, dizziness fades. And then, it dawns on you, the relationship you have in your mind is profoundly different from the one you actually have.

Of course, it takes precious time before you figure this out. Only by then, it’s too late. By then, desire has already taken you to the darkest edges of humanity. It’s a special place in the deepest recesses of hell, let me tell you. That’s when you realize what they say is true: Every love affair has its rituals—and you always kill what you love in the end.

On so many occasions, this could have taken a different route. She could have proven me wrong, and yet so many times she took exactly the route I predicted. We all make choices. She made hers. I made mine. Those choices have consequences. I’d like to think I’ve been lenient with her, far more lenient than I should have been.

So, that’s how I’ve found myself here, at the end that’s really a beginning. Here, in her kitchen, sitting at her bar, turning the knife over in my hands. All the while knowing that what awaits me upstairs will not be easy.

It’s okay.

No one ever said revenge was easy. Just sweet. One of her favorite sayings. She was wrong about a lot of things—me, for one—but that, well, that she was right about. Revenge is surprisingly sweet. It’s clear in the steadiness of my breath, in the clarity that has washed over me. My hands don’t even shake.

There are eleven steps to the top of the stairs. I’ve counted.

Her death will not be random. A crime of passion, they’ll call it. Although it will not be done in the heat of the moment, the way one might suspect. No. This is a scene I’ve played out in my mind, hundreds, if not thousands, of times. I knew it wouldn’t be easy. She is my friend, my only friend. She prefers it that way.

Yes, I am aware of how pathetic this sounds. I wish I knew how to make you understand. It’s just…well, I’ve never been very good with words. That’s her gift. Mine is asking questions. Maybe I should start there. Have you ever met someone you know is absolutely terrible for you but for whatever reason, combined with all the mysteries of the universe, you just can’t help yourself? Well, for me, that person is her.

I can’t help myself. She’s black magic and at the same time the air I need to breathe. Which is why I was careful to prepare for any and all setbacks. Setbacks have always been our specialty.

I finish off my Danish, careful to savor it in the way that she would appreciate. Next, I slip off my shoes, and leave them neatly by the door, just as I have countless times before, on more pleasant visits.

To outsiders, her death will come as a shock. Obviously, not for long. I’ve accounted for this. Which is to say, I don’t plan to stick around. Statistics show most victims know their perpetrators. Murder is astonishingly predictable. Since the beginning of time we’ve been sleeping, eating, having sex, and murdering each other. And not necessarily in that order.

Why no one ever sees these things coming is beyond me.

She really should have seen it coming.

Trust is a slippery thing though, isn’t it? Intangible, I’ve come to find. It doesn’t matter how smart your brain is. The heart is a different organ entirely. At least, this is the only logical explanation I can come up with as to why the truth so often remains elusive even when it’s dangled right in front of us. It isn’t logical at all. For so long, I thought if I just tried hard enough, I could make this work. There’s a price for that kind of stupidity. And believe me, I paid it.

Now, it’s her turn.

You live and you learn, I suppose. And let me tell you, I have learned…

At the top of the stairs, I will find her in her bed, third door to the right. By this time of night, she will be sleeping on her side, covers pulled halfway up. Her expression will be slack, but peaceful, for even in sleep women like her know only ease.

On the left side of the four-poster bed, is a nightstand. On top of the nightstand rests her Bible, the cell phone she’ll never reach, a glass of water she’ll never drink, the reading glasses she doesn’t want anyone to know she needs.

I will attack from the right, stabbing her six times. I’ve mapped it out. Six stab wounds, one for each of the ways she has wronged me. In reality, it doesn’t take that much to kill a person. She probably knows this better than anyone. And if not, just in case, I want to make sure.

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