I used to watch her through the lights. I watched as her body turned and twisted as she morphed into my siren. I wanted her—I craved every ounce of Ryleigh Turner. But I knew once I had her, all I would do was corrupt every inch of her pretty little soul. Valentinos aren't made for tales of love. We star in the horror stories you fear. We're the monsters that make you scared to ever hope again. It's time that she realises that. **** He's watched me for months, given me every reason to allow my curiosity to start killing me slowly. He makes the world melt away; he makes me want to throw all my inhibitions away and greet him personally. But every time the music ends and the lights lift, he vanishes, crushing my hopes. Until one day, a moment of chance happens. How does a man like Dante Valentino cope with a woman as messed up as me? Easy. I let him have every inch of my tainted soul. *** Not all love stories have a beautiful start. Some just need a perfect trigger. **This is a dark romance with intense scenes of murder and sex. There is coarse language used throughout. Not for the faint hearted.
"This curiosity will be the death of you,” he mutters, a mirthful tune to his voice. “Trust me, you don't want to know more," he tells me, lowering his tone once more in the hope his darkened stance will scare me off a little. "I am not the sort of man you want in your life."
"Don't sound so certain you know me," I quip, daring him. "Don't ever assume you know me."
"Oh, I know you alright," he starts to tell me. "I know you're a survivor, which makes you inquisitive. It, also, makes you stupid and believe you're invincible. Which you're not. You believe you can handle more than most think you can."
"I can handle more than most," I finalise, a defiant fire beginning to build within me.
"Then prove it."
I can tell by the look on his face the line escapes him way before he could possibly stop it. I have also noticed I seem to make him uncomfortable, as if I send him into a frenzy, and without knowing it, I challenge him.
“Okay,” I whisper, and I hear Jackson swear from behind us. I close my eyes, steadying my breath before I continue, begging my harsher self to come to light. “Just tell me how.”
There’s a deliberate silence that settles around us like dust calming in the air. There’s background noise, traffic in the distance, but between Dante and I there’s nothing as he mulls over what he could possibly challenge me with.
“I have an idea,” Dante suddenly says, striking upon an idea.
“What’s that?” I ask, matching his confidence.
"What do you say, Ryleigh?" he asks rhetorically, reaching out to cup my jaw. Unconsciously, I tilt my head into his hold, my eyes fluttering shut momentarily at the touch. "Fancy joining the dark side?"
"Dante," Jackson interjects. I sense him move forward, trying to play nice and talk Dante down off a fiery ledge. "Don't do this. Ryleigh is just a girl from the club. She's not cut out for what you have in mind."
I notice he daren't take his eyes away from mine. I notice he’s beguiled by me and I think it has something to do with the constant spark of curiosity I haven’t managed to shake when around him. I was always told I had an overwhelming sense of defiance that kept me from running from potentially dangerous situations – ones like the one right now.
"What do you say, Ryleigh?" he asks, ignoring Jackson. "Fancy trying to keep up with the big boys?"
I remember once before being called crazy because I took on a high school bully. He was twice my size, two years older and would’ve taken me down with one poke, but I still took him on, still challenged him, and never backed down.
That same adrenaline rush has been dormant for years. I’ve had no stimulation to arouse it, no reason to feel it pulsate my veins and make me feel alive – until now. The danger that Dante is swathed in is alluring and makes me become a dare devil. He triggers something in me. He’s a spark I forgot I needed and he’s a flame I know that will only burn me, but I don’t care. I want to burn bright for a little while and I know he’s my only option.
And for some strange reason, my primal need and small amount of knowledge of Dante clash together and I know he’ll be more than a beautiful downfall to me. I know he’ll give me a chance to be free, to sneak a way to shed myself of the pain I allow to follow me. I know he’ll be beautifully damaging to my conscience and I’ll never turn back without regret.
Call me crazy, but Dante Valentino feels like the best worst decision a girl could make.
“Do your worst,” I reply.
I used to be just another Fanfiction writer! That was until one person showed real interest in my work. And then another, and then another, until I had this whole group of people reviewing like crazy and wanting original work from me. I’d spent years writing for free online, I didn’t believe I had it in me to publish something! But I’m glad I did!! I never imagined pushing my work and striving to reach my ultimate. I never imagined I’d be the girl who started The Viper Rooms! But who am I to deny the inspiration when it hits? I love writing, it’s a lifeline. I love creating a world that others fall into. I love having the control to make a whole new world. It’s like a dependency, an addictive one. It’s one of the things I’m extremely proud of. As much as I complain, I love the mini dialogues that go on in my head, the plotlines that attack me when I least expect them to. The ones that jump to life at the most inappropriate times and drive me totally crazy!! For now I split my life between writing, dreaming, working, and volunteering with children.