Please welcome Nash Summers with
Levi Bell can see a person’s soul just by looking into their eyes. In Monroe Poirier’s eyes, he sees the devil himself.
When Monroe moves back to the small Southern town of Malcome, Levi is repelled by the darkness of the stranger’s soul. But Levi is cursed to love things dark and wicked, and he's seduced each time he looks into Monroe’s eyes—and drawn to the swamp behind the old Poirier house.
As strange occurrences begin to happen when shadows and visions visit him in the night, Levi sees a flicker of something good in Monroe’s soul. But the need to submerge himself in the swamp’s murky waters grows stronger as Levi’s desire for Monroe becomes unbearable.
In his struggles to help Monroe save his soul, Levi will have to decide if it’s worth losing his own.
By the time we’d gone to the ice cream shop and the mechanic’s shop so that Monroe could order parts for our car, the sky was a gradient of carmine and tea rose. The evening had snuck up on us while we talked and ate ice cream, and Silvi ran around a playground with Coin.
Monroe carried all the bags of things we’d purchased, and I carried a sleeping Silvi back to Monroe’s truck. Coin climbed in the back and we slid into the front cab. I took off the thin sweater I’d been wearing over a loose T-shirt and used it to make a small pillow for Silvi, which I propped against the side of the car.
Even as we bounded down the gravel road and headed back into Malcome along a bumpy, uneven trail, Silvi remained asleep.
I leaned against the back of the seat, closed my eyes, enjoyed the gentle rumble of the truck engine, the sound of the wind whipping against the glass.
“You stood up for me today in that shop.” Monroe’s voice was low, rough.
“You are just a man, Monroe,” I replied. I kept my eyes shut. In that moment, sitting next to him, the warm glow of the sunset pressing against my eyelids, I didn’t trust my heart.
“You’re not. You’re something else, Levi. I ain’t sure what, but I know you’re something different.”
After a long, delayed silence, in a whisper, almost hoping he wouldn’t hear it, I said, “You might be too.”
Monroe moved his hand across the seat to where my hand rested. As gentle as the feel of a snowflake falling onto bare, warm skin, he brushed his thumb against my open palm.
I knew then it was too late for me. If Monroe Poirier was doomed, I was doomed too.
The barest, most intimate touch of his skin against mine was more electrifying than staring into a person’s soul, more exhilarating than talking to ghosts, more magical than dreaming of the future.As we continued back home in silence, Monroe’s thumb softly drawing patterns into the palm of my hand, I hoped my soul would forgive me for giving my heart to the devil.
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Nash Summers rarely has any idea what she’s doing. But when she likes to pretend, she pretends by writing stories at the pace of drying paint. As if that wasn’t exhilarating enough, Nash also enjoys absolute silence, general politeness, and waiting her turn in line. Needless to say, she’s a bona fide hell raiser.
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