When PTSD proves to be too much, the only person who can help the college freshman pass her math class is a sexy engineering student who wants to add her to his list of conquests.
Heat claws at the air, at my exposed skin, and singes the edges of what’s left of my hope. Smoke reaches into my lungs, igniting another round of coughing as I fight for what little oxygen remains in the room.
My eyes burn, but the tears in them aren’t enough to extinguish the heat as a plaintive meow rips at my heart.
I tighten my hold on Smoky, my kitten, my only source of comfort.
My only friend.
With Smoky sheltered against my chest, I bang my fist on the heavy closed door, again and again and again. “Please, Paul!” Don’t leave me here to die. I’ve lasted this long. Two weeks, five days, by my guestimation.
“I’ll do anything you say.” The last part comes out as a spluttered whisper, barely noticeable over the crackling of the flames engulfing the room. Please don’t let me die.
But something tells me it’s already too late as the words “Don’t worry, Amber. You and I were meant to be together. Forever and ever” ring like funeral bells in my brain. He doesn’t plan for either of us to escape. He had it planned all along. My murder. His suicide.
A voice yells outside the door, but it’s too muffled for me to understand the words.