Carved in Bones by Morgana Darkins

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“You can run, Madeline. But where are you going to hide?”

BONES

We’ve been to the depths of hell and brought back pieces of it. We have the scars to prove it. They’re a part of who we are, but unlike him, I’d take eternal fire over love any day.
Still, I can’t fight this obsession.
I’ve seen her fall. I’ve heard her heart break. I am the reason for it, but I’ll always be a part of her life—watching, waiting.
I crave to cut her open and see what she’s made of.
He's becoming obsessed with her too, and I've killed anyone who dared to touch her, but his blood is not something I'll easily wash off my hands. I need them both to keep me sane.

MADELINE

People are always made of a million tiny puzzle pieces, and we usually can’t even see half of them. Half of those are broken.
I’d know. I see it in him too.
He tells me I belong to him—that he's addicted, and he wants to taste the stain of my sins.
Looking at him is like staring in the mirror at the darkness inside of me—he slowly becomes every sin I commit.
There’s something dark burning in my blood. By the time I find out he's not alone, I'm in too deep. They're two sides of the same coin, but they're not enough for each other. I'm their missing piece.
I can deny it. I can fight it. But in the darkness, they are the Gods I address my prayers to.

This book is a dark stalker romance and contains themes that some readers might find offensive or triggering.

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Excerpt from Carved in Bones © Copyright 2023 Morgana Darkins

“Let’s play a game, Bones,” I smile, knowing that he won’t be able to resist. He loves this too much. “Truth or dare?”

I’ll have something to win either way.

“You have no idea what you’re doing, Madeline.” “Truth or dare, Bones?”

“Fine,” he grunts. “Dare.”

I lick my lips, thinking about what I want him to do. It would’ve been easier if we went for the truth, but nothing is easy with this man. I could go for the obvious, like daring him to take the mask off, but this is not the thing that bothers me the most. “Take off your gloves and touch me.” I enjoy his hesitation. I’ve hit a nerve,

and he’s unsure. So surprised he actually takes a step back.”

“You asked me earlier what I want from you. “This is what I want from you.

Take off your gloves and fucking touch me.”

His Adam’s apple bobs. I can’t stop my brain from being fascinated by him, how to stop my body from trying to pull itself closer to him. He’s the car crash I never saw coming, and I’m struggling between life and death, driving myself crazy, always asking what the sentence will be.

“Where?”

“What?”

“Where do you want me to touch you, Madeline?”

“What does it matter where I want you to touch me if you can’t do it?” I laugh. “You could slip your fingers in my mouth. You could touch my body. I will whisper your name like a prayer if you push them deep inside me. But can you?”

I’ve officially lost my grip on reality. We’ve been playing this game for a while now. Always in the dark, always on his own terms. And I’m done with all of it. If he wants me, he’ll need to give me something. He’ll need to give me a part of himself.

I push his hand away and take a step forward, invading his personal space.

“Touch me or leave me the fuck “alone. Because I’m tired of these games you’re playing in the dark.” I take a deep breath.

I back away as he pushes forward, cornering me between his body and the wardrobe. I gulp, wondering how far is too far. How far can I push before he either breaks or he breaks me? I hear him inhaling deeply, watching him bringing his hands in front of my eyes, teasing me. He pinches the fingertips of the left glove, removing it with lazy moves. There’s nothing sexual in his moves, but my mind can’t make my body realise this. Time stops. I can’t get enough air. There’s a beautiful raven tattooed on his right hand, wings widespread, claws resting on the edge of a semicircle that surrounds it and the head of Anubis on his left hand.

“There’s something you need to be aware of, little lamb.” His voice is husky, demanding my entire attention. I stand still, cocking my head, peering into his emotionless eyes. “I was fifteen the last time I felt the skin of someone else under my fingertips.”

“How old are you now?” “Twenty seven.”

More than a decade since the last time he touched someone “else with no layer of protection and yet, he removed his gloves now because I’ve asked him to, and he might not go through it, but at least he’s considering it. And I shouldn’t be happy about it. It shouldn’t make me feel like I’m special to him, but it does. And it’s stupid. This is how I’ll die.

“What happened to you?”

“I’ve chosen dare, didn’t I?” he smirks, and I nod. “Listen to me, Madeline. I need you to stay still. I don’t want to kill you, so don’t do something fucking reckless. Don’t touch me. Don’t get closer to me. Am I clear?”

This was a bad idea. Fear and excitement collide together. I rest my palms against the wood behind me, taking a deep breath.

“I won’t do anything stupid. I promise.”

Even though I say the words, I don’t trust myself. “Close your eyes.”