The Belle Âme Chronicles | Book #4
The stakes are higher than ever before as Nathalian, Edwin, Blythe, and Moira find themselves trapped within Georgia Komanduri’s Red Room. While a twisted audience watches from behind their own computer screens, the already-injured Washingtons engage in a torturous game of cat-and-mouse while trying to escape a pair of maniacal twins, a deranged carny, and the corpses of their past.
Sevii, Ramona, and Jaxyn watch helplessly as their family members maneuver throughout the maze-like Red Room, and they are ultimately forced to place their trust in the murderous Reaper Blackthorn for assistance.
Georgia’s tests and taunts eventually extract hidden secrets from the pasts of her prey, and their formerly close family dynamic frays irreparably. A hidden ghost returns to haunt Nathalian in ways that he never thought possible, and several catastrophic decisions ensure that not everyone will escape from Georgia’s Red Room alive.
Blythe Washington squinted against the darkness, hoping for some sign of a clue or a trace about their current predicament. The light of her iPhone’s flashlight glimmered off the rough interior of the room, revealing little more than spiders, blood streaks, and rusty nails. “Where…did she go?” she said angrily under her breath.
“Bitch evaporated; that’s where she went!” Nathalian snapped, feeling that there was no need to keep quiet when their enemy had clearly locked them in the room. “She played us for fools, attacked Moira, and left us here to rot.”
“The last time I checked, you were the one who invited her into our home,” Blythe snapped back, getting to her feet and pressing her hands against the walls for stability. Her heart pounded, and she felt light-headed as a wave of dread washed over her. “No one wanted her there but you.”
“I had a—“
“And now, we’re locked in a death closet.”
Nathalian frantically tried the doorknob before furiously pounding on the door. His fists struck the door rhythmically with all of his force. “Break it down,” he said.
Blythe’s eyes widened. “What?!”
He motioned toward his wife. “You’re the fitness instructor,” he reasoned, “and I’m on crutches. It’s a wooden door. Knock it down.”
“You knock it down! Pitch yourself off-balance and fall into it or something!”
“Why don’t you two just shut up, and both of you knock it down together?!” Edwin Washington snapped from his kneeling position on the ground. The light smacked him in the face, causing him to groan and shield his face. “Jesus Christ, Blythe!
“Who’s going to carry Moira?” Nathalian asked, gesturing to Edwin’s still-unconscious fiancée on the ground.
“Guess I’m nothing more than a weak piece of shit, huh?” Edwin slipped Moira’s arms around his neck and slowly got to his feet. Moira Lamoureux groaned weakly but didn’t move otherwise. Her chin struck Edwin’s chest as her head flopped down limply. “You two get the door. I’ve got Moira.”
Blythe walked up to the door and pushed on it a few times to see how much it would give way. “You know there’s probably a bed of nails waiting for us outside the door.”
“Yeah, well, the longer we’re in here, the easier it’ll be for Sienna and Georgia to find a new way to ruin our lives,” said Edwin. “We’re going through the door.”
“Fine.” Blythe backed up to the room’s adjacent wall, causing Edwin to side-step with Moira on his back. Blythe handed him her phone. “Shine the light at the door.”
Nathalian balanced on his left leg and turned his left side to face the door. “One…” he said.
Blythe nodded her head. “Two.”
“Three!” Nathalian said. Blythe leaped across the room as Nathalian pitched himself into the door, the spouses slamming into the wood simultaneously. The door held tight, bouncing both Blythe and Nathalian off of it and onto the floor. “Son of a bitch!” Nathalian moaned, rubbing his still-healing knee and hoping that nothing tore.
Edwin studied the door as he paced slightly, the bottoms of Moira’s prosthetic legs bouncing against his calves. “Hmmm…”
Blythe pushed herself off the floor to a seating position and stared at the door in awe. “It’s reinforced or something. It didn’t give at all!” She looked over at Nathalian. “Should we go again?”
“No,” said Nathalian, reaching up for anyone’s hand. “One of you help me up, and then you and Ed are going to do it.” Edwin opened his mouth to object, and Nathalian quickly interjected, “I know you want to protect Moira, but I can protect her, too. Just, leave her with me until you get the door open.”
Edwin pointed upward. “There’s a ventilation shaft above us.”
Blythe’s mouth dropped open and she shook her head. “No… No, you’ve got to be kidding me—“
“I’m on crutches, and Moira’s unconscious!” Nathalian argued. “We are not going through that shaft.” “Of course not,” Edwin agreed. “Blythe and I are.”