The Housemaid's Secret (The Housemaid, Book 2)

Tonight, I will be murdered.

Lightning flashes around me, illuminating the living room of the small cabin where I’m spending the night, and where my life will soon reach an abrupt end. I can just barely make out the wooden floorboards below, and for a split second, I imagine my body splayed out on those floorboards, a pool of red spreading beneath me in an uneven circle, seeping into the wood. My eyes open, staring into nothing. My mouth slightly ajar, a trickle of blood running down my chin.

No. No.

Not tonight.

Once the cabin goes dark again, I grope blindly in front of me, moving away from the comfort of the sofa. The storm is bad, but not bad enough to cut off the electricity. No, somebody else is responsible for that. Somebody who has already taken one life tonight and expects that I will be next.

It all started with a simple cleaning job. And now it might end with my blood being mopped off the cabin floor.

I wait for another flash of lightning to show me the way, then I move carefully in the direction of the kitchen. I don’t have a plan in mind, but the kitchen contains potential weapons. There’s an entire block of knives in there—short of that, even a fork might come in handy. With my bare hands, I’m a goner. With a knife, my chances might be slightly better.

The kitchen contains large picture windows that bring in a bit more light than in the rest of the cabin. My pupils dilate, straining to absorb as much as possible. I stumble toward the kitchen counter, but after taking three steps

on the linoleum, my feet slide out from under me and I fall hard on the floor, cracking my elbow bad enough to bring tears to my eyes.

Although to be fair, there were already tears in my eyes.

As I attempt to scramble back to my feet, I realize that the kitchen floor is wet. Lightning flashes again, and I look down at my palms. They are both stained crimson. I didn’t slip on a puddle of water or some spilled milk.

I slipped on blood.

I sit there for a moment, taking inventory of my body. Nothing is hurting. I’m still intact. That means the blood isn’t mine.

Not yet, anyway.

Move. Move now. It’s your only chance.

This time I am more successful in getting to my feet. I reach the kitchen counter, breathing a sigh of relief as my fingers make contact with the cold hard surface. I grope around for the block of knives, but I can’t seem to find it. Where is it?

And then I hear the footsteps, growing closer. It’s hard to judge, especially since everything is so dark, but I’m pretty sure there is now somebody in the kitchen with me. All the hairs on my neck stand up as a pair of eyes bore into me.

I am no longer alone.

My heart sinks into my stomach. I have made an incredibly bad judgment call. I have underestimated an extremely dangerous person.

And now I will pay the ultimate price.

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