The Scream Behind Her Smile
Publication date: April 12th 2019
Genres: Adult, Psychological Thriller
It’s one thing to discover your husband is not who you believe him to be.
It’s another thing entirely to prove it.
The only question now, is how far he will go to protect his secrets.
From the #1 INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLING AUTHOR of the award-winning Beyond the Grave paranormal romance series.
“Athena Daniels has spun a spell-binding story that is sure to seduce fans of suspense… Her compelling writing style coupled with elements of high drama and disturbing characters makes for an emotionally intense read. Athena Daniels has a new fan in me!” Readers Favorite, 5 Stars
“…a contemporary psychological thriller with a solid plot line which had me reading late into the night. I thoroughly enjoyed every word.” 5 Stars, Readers Favorite
One lie is enough to question all truths.
As I lie here in my front hallway, in the place where it all began, I wonder what would have happened if I’d never opened the door that afternoon?
Would she have gone somewhere else? Would she have swept off in another direction, an alternative reality where our lives would never have crossed paths?
And now I’m lying here, blood pooling beneath my body, deep crimson smears on cold white tiles, remembering every sordid moment in vivid detail.
There’s a shadow standing over me.
“I want you to die here, slowly and alone.” Her voice is cold, emotionless. “And I want you to use the time to think about what you did. And when you take your last breath, I want you to realize it’s all your fault. All of it!”
I drift in and out of consciousness and wonder if I had my chance to do it over again, if I had the choice, would I choose not to open the door that day?
Even after everything, I know that I would.
I’d go through it all again, and then some, if it meant the chance to be with Zach just one more time…
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I drag my gaze from across the room and look at my husband. Really look at him. He has his eyes squeezed shut. Has he always done that?
Was there ever a time we’d looked at each other as we made love?
“Derek?” I whisper. “Derek,” I repeat a little louder when it is clear he hadn’t heard me.
Derek opens his eyes, a slight frown between his brows. “Do you want me to stop?” Is that impatience in his tone?
“No,” I say. “I… I love you.”
“Love you, too.” But he closes his eyes as he says the words. He doesn’t see the tear that escapes between lids I’ve squeezed shut.
He changes the angle of his thrust. It’s only slight, but I recognize it, and I know he is getting close. I can almost tell, to the exact thrust, when he’ll climax.
Then he’ll roll off me and onto his back. I’ll lay my head on his chest and listen to the beat of his heart as it slows. For one minute. Never longer. He’ll then roll over, and I’ll spoon his back.
His eyes are shut, so he doesn’t see the other tear that rolls down my cheek to dampen the hair at the base of my neck. But I’m not even sad.
I don’t feel anything at all.
How can I cry when I feel this empty?
How can I feel empty with my husband inside me in the most intimate way possible?
With the final thrust of his hips, like an orchestra conductor’s last wave of his staff, Derek finishes.
Without a single glance in my direction, he rolls onto his back.
I didn’t even bother to fake an orgasm.
He doesn’t seem to care.
This time I roll over, my back toward him.
He doesn’t move to hold me as his heart slows. Instead, I listen as his breathing turns to a light snore.
I’m not where I belong. But that can’t be right. I’m married. I’m living with my husband. Surely this is where I belong.
Then why do I feel so lost?
And so terribly alone.
Athena Daniels is the #1 international bestselling author of the award-winning Beyond the Grave paranormal romance series and the romantic thrillers Desperate and The Scream Behind Her Smile. In 2016, Athena was nominated for Author of the Year and Best New Author in AusRom Today’s Reader’s Choice Awards.