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KILLING THE SUN is a collaborative novel by K. Larsen and Mara White.
KTS is not a ROMANCE
KTS is not ROMANTIC
This book features a non-linear time line, some violence as well as graphic sex.
Do not read this book if you donÔÇÖt like antiheroes.
Do not read this book if sexual sadism makes you uncomfortable.
Do not read this book if you donÔÇÖt like dubious consent.
Do not read this book if you are looking for a traditional HEA.
Do not read this book if you like demure heroines and swashbuckling heroes.
KTS is a serial novel that will come in three novellas released in rapid succession.
If you choose to take this ride, please do so at your own risk.
In Chickasaw County, Oklahoma, there is a manmade lake. There used to be a small, natural lake there filled with bass, crappie and bream. My grandfather would fish in those waters, wearing thigh-high waders alongside the tall wading birds poking around for fish eggs. It was rumored that the waters had healing powers, that the native people drank from the natural springs to heal ailments and to purify the spirit.
As kids we swam there, even as the township enlarged the lake and pushed hard to attract campers and speed boaters, jet skiers and anglers, anything other than us local kids learning to do underwater handstands and doggy paddle. I was an okay swimmer, I guess, at least before I developed breasts, but Storm and Farren were champions, the very best. They were the strongest swimmers in the school district, and nobody could keep up with them.
After the age of ten, I only entered the water in shorts and a T-shirt, no matter how hot the summer sun, no matter how few people were swimming or roaming the shore. I used to think I stopped wearing a bathing suit because IÔÇÖd gotten my period or because my breasts were bigger than any other ten-year-old west of the Mississippi. Sometimes I speculated it was because of the murder, that stripping down in front of strangers, letting them really see me, had become nothing short of unbearable. I hated to be vulnerable.
After they found the Dodge Dart, I realized that maybe it was just my subconscious calling to me. Avoid the lake, itÔÇÖs a watery grave, a family crypt that is too saturated with history.
It was the summer after I graduated high school that they found the Dart. Eight years were enough for the scandal to settle, even in a town like Sulphur; theyÔÇÖd put it to rest, especially after the murder/suicide on the campground out by the highway. Just some other drunk and homicidal idiots, but at least not from my family. The gossip had gotten quieter and quieter until it was barely more than a whisper from the grocery cart behind me in line at the store or the big-eared teenager handing out rental shoes at the bowling alley. I could see it in their eyes, but at least strangers had stopped asking. TheyÔÇÖd stopped talking behind my back and, most importantly, stopped staring. Until that one hot July when theyÔÇÖd dredged both lakes, VeteranÔÇÖs and Arbuckle, using up city money to elevate the dams and make improvements for tourism.
I was in the trailer swatting flies and leafing through a Sears catalogue when Stacey Dobson rapped on the screen door, yelling, ÔÇ£Aimeee!ÔÇØ and got me tripping over chairs on my way to the door, convinced that a tornado must be tearing through.
ÔÇ£They found your dadÔÇÖs car! At the bottom of the lake!ÔÇØ
Her cheeks were flushed pink from running in the stagnant heat, and circles of darker purple stained the armpits of her jumper.
ÔÇ£What?ÔÇØ I asked. I remembered standing in the doorframe. I thought about his body on the floor, how his skin felt like wet plastic wrap over raw liver after all signs of life had left him. The look of death in his eyes was really the most sober I could remember ever seeing him.
ÔÇ£The car was at the bottom of the lake! They drained it to widen the lakebed and there it was, sitting out in the middle.ÔÇØ
ÔÇ£Was it empty?ÔÇØ I asked her, my eyes narrowing to take her in. She was nearsighted, the Dobson girl, and in all remedial classes at the high school. She was a few years older than me. As children weÔÇÖd been amicable in a freeze tag, king of the mountain, Barbie-sharing sort of way, but after my dad died, I looked at everyone suspiciously, wondering what they could want from me. I would have no friends in this place.
Stacey looked desperate and disheveled, sweat along her hairline, pinpoints of red starting to appear on her face.
ÔÇ£DonÔÇÖt know, they just brought in a tow truck to pull it out. You can only see the top of it.ÔÇØ
ÔÇ£How do you know itÔÇÖs my dadÔÇÖs car?ÔÇØ The words felt sharp as they exited my mouth, like they had tines and were looking to plunge into any soft surface. StaceyÔÇÖs chubby cheeks, the soft round of her gut. It had been a long time since IÔÇÖd said my dad, words I typically avoided at all costs.
ÔÇ£Divers,ÔÇØ Stacey said. Her eyes lit up like streetlights through a dismal fog. The lack of news in this town turned everyone into vultures for tragedy.
ÔÇ£LetÔÇÖs go,ÔÇØ I said. I jammed my keys in my pocket and threw my yellow and green windbreaker over my shoulder. Grabbing a pack of cigarettes and a lighter my mom had left on the counter, I switched off the light and promised myself that I wouldnÔÇÖt stick around this damned town only to witness my own downfall. Damned if IÔÇÖd let them all stand around defaming and slandering my family with not a one of us to hold them accountable for their local poisonÔÇöa bitter mouthful of gossip. Show them that an Olsen, at least this Olsen, didnÔÇÖt have mercy for anyone dumb enough to cross her.