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By R. K. Ryals

Copyright 2011 by Regina K. Ryals

Smashwords Edition


First and foremost, I dedicate this book to my mother who passed away in 2005. She will be my hero always. I would also like to thank Sabrina Williams and Audrey Welch for their much needed support. They were a shoulder to cry on and an ear to vent in when I needed it most. Thank you to my husband who picked up a lot of my shirked duties while I was in the Zen of writing. He is a truly amazing man. And a very, very special thank you to Melanie Bruce, a truly remarkable woman who helped make this book the best it could be.

In the beginning . . .

It was dark. I was supposed to be sleeping but the television was turned up too loud downstairs, and I tossed and turned instead. Mrs. Cavendish was a big fan of Tru TV, and she was laughing appallingly loud as I glanced worriedly at the glowing heart-shaped clock next to my bed. The digital numbers stood out too bright in the pitch black room. Midnight. Shouldn’t mom and dad be home already? My bedroom door creaked open, and I dove beneath my sheet.

“Dayton?” a voice whispered uncertainly, and I pulled the cover down to find my sister’s silhouette framed against my open bedroom door. She took a hesitant step forward.

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