This is a dark romance, which contains scenes which some might find disturbing. It is part one of a two-part duet. TRIALS OF TAMARA will be published May 7.
I was never really insane except upon occasions when my heart was touched ~ Edgar Allan Poe
Ever since mankind first learned to bang rocks together and spark fire, people have been driven to define themselves, to build neat little boxes and climb inside.
They divide themselves up by religion, race, nationality. And even that’s not enough. They make the boxes smaller and smaller. They come up with all kinds of bullshit ways to categorize themselves. Introverts, extroverts. Leaders, followers. Morning people, night owls.
It’s part of the human condition—the desperate desire to figure out where you belong. To know the truth of who you are, what you are.
Me? I’d kill anyone who tried to put me in a box. And I learned the only two important distinctions very early on.
Predators, or prey.
Eat, or be eaten.
What difference does it make if you’re an introverted morning person…if you’re gurgling your last breaths through the wide-open smile that I’ve carved in your throat?
Are you strong enough to survive an encounter with a predator? Do you deserve to survive?
Those of us who are worthy, we take what we want and crush those who oppose us. Money, power, prestige, women—we steal them away and use them as we wish.
We live on a different plane of existence. Our lives are both richer and more dangerous. We constantly seek new sensation. Our Everest-level craving for stimulation drives us to take mad risks.
These days, there are other names for us besides predator—more civilized ways to describe us. More scientific. The one that fits me the best is a name that’s flung about far too casually these days, but it’s accurate in my case.
I’ve taken all the major tests for psychopathy, including the PCL-R. I tick off all the boxes.
Grandiose sense of self-worth? Manipulative? Surface-level charm? Ruthless? Lack of remorse?
Check, check, check, check, check. Although I think “grandiose” is a little unfair. I’d say “accurate”. The things I’ve accomplished, the billions I’ve earned, the heights I’ve scaled, the murders I’ve gotten away with again and again—my sense of self-worth is certainly quite healthy, but it’s not grandiose. It’s well-earned. I don’t even understand why they ask some of the questions. “I manipulate others to get what I want.” Well, obviously. How else would you get what you want? By saying pretty please?
So how does one become something like me? A designer suit wrapped around a piranha? Well, my father was a monster, and I am the clay he molded. Is that nature or nurture? Would I have been capable of empathy and self-restraint if I’d been stolen as an infant and given to normal humans? I guess we’ll never know.
I watched my brothers, both older and younger, those less worthy, fall one by one. Did I feel anything as I watched them gasp their final breaths? I don’t know anymore. I don’t remember what feelings feel like. They’re not useful to predators.
With each death, my father’s gaze burned with scorn. My mother’s lips quivered, and tears shimmered in her eyes, but she didn’t shed a single one. My father was a predator. She didn’t want him to devour her.
I learned the lessons my father taught us, and I adapted, and I alone survived.
A predator doesn’t ask. He takes.
A predator knows no fear.
A predator is a hunter, and a hunter needs prey.
A predator can only win if someone else loses.
Dexter Meets 50 Shades of Grey.
“This billionaire has a horrifying secret… and I’m so sorry I found out….”
Once upon a time.
I was a nineteen-year-old girl with a law school scholarship. My ugly past was finally behind me and my whole life lay ahead. My name… was Tamara.
I don’t own my mind or my body anymore. I don’t even have my name. Now, I’m called Toy, and I’m the prisoner of the most beautiful serial killer the world has ever seen.
My purpose in life is to please him, to crawl for him, to serve his every whim instantly without question.
Sometimes it amuses him to give me pleasure so intense I think I’ll die. Sometimes it amuses him to invent new ways to make me scream.
He says I’ll never feel the wind on my face again.
He says that his face is the last that I’ll ever see.
He likes to make me cry.
He says that he’s the only one allowed to hurt me, so he’ll keep me safe and caged until the day I die.
There’s an evil worse than him crawling through the shadows of our lives.
When the past comes knocking, my jailor may be my only savior.
About Ginger Talbot
Ginger Talbot is a fan of dark chocolate, dark romance, and talking about herself in the third person. She’s a restless soul who’s wandered from coast to coast and can generally be found in the local bookstore coffeeshop, flipping through the pages of a romance or thriller, and overindulging in lattes.
She majored in journalism and, in days of yore, worked as a newspaper reporter covering cops and courts, and then went on to work as a patient care tech in an emergency room. She’s also done stints as the world’s worst secretary and a mediocre cocktail waitress.
Now she sits around all day making up stories about sexy, dominant Alpha-holes and the smart-mouthed, sassy women who love to hate to love them.