Mirabella Ascott turned up the volume on her iPhone as the bus moved away from the kerb.
She readjusted her headphones in the reflection of the nearest shop window, fixing her bangs so they would keep out of her eyes, and then she was off. Her little tabby, Oscar, was going to be pissed that she was late. His food bowl was probably sitting mostly empty, pushed into the middle of the kitchen to remind her that it was past dinner time. She would have to give him extra treats to make up for it.
The tune pounded in time with her footsteps, a solid four-by-four beat to set the pace for her walk home. She bobbed her head along to it, humming the words that had been stuck in her head for most of the weekend—since the first time she had heard it. Maybe she could use this song for her audition piece; it was definitely something that she could see herself dancing to.
She did an informal little pirouette, just to test it out, and the rhythm sung her its approval.
She turned into Grandview Lane, knowing it would cut five minutes off her walk—and she was eager to get home now, to clear out her own little dance floor and get started on the choreography already forming in her head. This piece was going to be epic. She could feel it now. Her blood was practically singing it already.
Mirabella didn't feel the presence behind her until it was already too late.
Her phone went flying in one direction, her headphones in the other. Her temple collided with the outer bricks of the bakery she had been walking past, just hard enough to hurt, and she went sprawling across the litter-infested pavement. Her arms screamed in protest as she landed on them, scraping them against the uneven pavement.
Her voice didn't have a chance to follow before the man was on top of her.
Her heart went into overdrive, replacing the beating of the song in her ears. It screamed a warning in her chest as her attacker leaned in close—so close that all she could see was the grey of his eyes, made darker by the lack of light in the alley.
Even if she hadn't recognised those eyes, she would have recognised his bulky build, the way that he straddled her waist. How could she not? She'd dated the bastard for two and a half years. It would have been more surprising if she hadn't recognised him.
John pulled back to look at her. "Hello, Mira. Did you miss me?"
He didn't give her a chance to respond before his hands were at her throat.
Her eyes bulged in surprise as she reached up to claw at his wrists, to try to pull his hands free of her neck. He had said he would kill her—the day that she'd left his abusive ass, he had sworn that if he couldn't have her, no other man would either. That he would kill her before he would let her live without him.
The police hadn't believed her. Even her friends had said he couldn't possibly be that crazy.
She'd believed him. She had changed her number, moved to a new city, gotten a new job. She'd done everything she could think of, save for changing her entire identity, in an attempt to keep herself hidden...
And yet here he was now, trying to squeeze the life from her throat.
Mirabella dug her nails into his skin and pulled. But rather than free herself of his grasp she only tore the skin, drawing blood and making his arms too slippery for her to be able to get a decent hold on him. He hardly seemed to notice; his eyes were wild as he pressed down harder on her windpipe, sending her heart and her mind into an absolute panic.
Mira bucked her hips in an attempt to throw her ex-boyfriend off, but he out-weighed her by a good sixty pounds. Slapping at him did no good either, and her legs weren't in a good enough position to be able to kick at him. He had her entirely trapped; she wasn't going anywhere in a hurry.
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The Angel of Vengeance | ✓ [EDITING]Paranormal
Zoe Halsman has had the dreams for as long as she can remember -- the dreams that show her all manner of terrible things before they happen. As a child they tormented her; as a teenager they leave her guilt-ridden and questioning the nature of her v...