Hey, book bae!
So, originally, I wanted to release The Preying Pastor in September. This baby has taken on a life of its own! I’m close to 40,000 words done, and I’m only at the halfway point on my outline! With that being said, The Preying Pastor will be released October 1st. Keep scrolling for the synopsis and a sneak peek!
“She needed to be careful, for if you walk with the prey… you eventually become the prey.”
Dallas Carver-Monroe has managed to live with a fairytale façade for the past ten years. Growing up in a religiously strict home caused Dallas to do whatever it took to please her parents – even if that meant marrying her high school sweetheart, Seth, right after they graduated. Dallas and Seth had a genuine connection, but she didn’t think he was the man she was supposed to spend her life with. Still, she married him to make sure they didn’t have sex and start a family without making vows before God.
After almost twelve years of hell on earth, Dallas is tired of the happily married First Lady façade that has been forced upon her. Just when she thinks she’s about to break free, tragedy strikes, and Seth’s evil deeds and enemies become her own. Silver lining? Ra Jake.
When Ra Jake returns home, he has only two priorities – fix things with his ex, Cree, and successfully protect the Pastor’s wife. Under different circumstances, Ra would have turned down the job. Losing his last client has caused pain to plague Ra in a way that he never thought was possible. Had it not been for a favor being owed to an old friend, Ra would have never taken on the responsibility of guarding another human being’s life.
Upon first meeting, Dallas and Ra would rather be anywhere than with each other. As time progresses, they create a genuine bond so deep it’s hard for anyone, Seth and Cree included, to be able to reach. But the old saying is… all good things must come to an end. Unfortunately, this rings true for Dallas and Ra, and they will have to fight for their hearts and their lives before Seth’s horrible decisions rob them of both.
Something felt off. This wasn’t the first time Seth had come in late… but something was definitely off. I’d been tossing and turning all night, well into the morning. Usually I was a heavy sleeper, but the sound of the garage lifting and closing woke me right up. I checked the time on my phone, not even surprised to see that Seth wasn’t making it in until three in the morning.
But something felt off.
I felt myself being pulled to go to him. To make sure he was okay. Getting out of bed, I told myself that everything was good, and my mind was just overreacting. Things had been off between us since Sunday dinner – maybe my conscience was ready for us to squash our current beef. After sliding into my robe and the Uggs I used as house shoes, I made my way down the hall towards the back door.
By the time I made it outside, Seth was closing the door behind him. Seemed like it took him quite some time to even make it to the suite, but I brushed it off thinking maybe he’d fallen asleep or was in his phone. Sometimes when Seth stayed out too late, it was a miracle that he even made it home at all. He’d go to sleep as soon as he pulled into the garage or driveway and not wake up until the sun came up.
Seth had neglected to lock the door, so I opened it and stepped inside.
“Seth?” I called out.
The suite was set up like a studio apartment with its open space. There were no walls separating the kitchen, living room area, and bedroom. The only room that really had privacy was the bathroom, but Seth had also created a separate space where he did his studying and communing with God.
“Yea?” was his reply.
His voice was low. Tired. He coughed before what sounded like spitting up. Quickly, I made my way to the bathroom, and he’d of course locked that door.
“Are you okay?”
He sniffed twice before blowing air out of his nostrils. “Yea. Get out.”
Leaning against the door, I smiled. “Why? Are you pooping?”
“I’m not leaving until I know you’re okay. Open the door so I can see you, then I’ll go.”
Seth released a loud exhale as he shuffled towards the door. He sniffed again as he unlocked the door. The second he opened it I gasped and clutched my heart through my chest. Blood was pouring from his nose and mouth, his eyes were purple and swollen, and there was a huge knot on the side of his head.
“Oh my God! What the hell happened to you?”
I tried to touch his face, but Seth pushed my hand away. Immediately, I wet a towel for his nose as he told me about what happened at the underground casino. This wasn’t the first time Seth had gotten his ass whooped because of his debt, and I was sure it wouldn’t be the last. I helped him remove his clothes then sat him on the toilet as I ran him a bath. His brown skin showed the bruises on his ribs effortlessly.
Once the tub was full of water, I poured in some Epsom salt and alcohol, then helped him get inside. While he soaked, I asked him what his plans with Plague were. He’d doubled up his bet, now he was in the hole for five hundred thousand, and he was still expected to participate in the big tournament. I had no idea how Seth planned to do either, but I had faith in him. With time, he was always able to dig his way out.
The water grew cold, so I helped him to stand. I undressed and got inside to help him shower. When we were done, I dried him off and applied his body oil. He slowly made his way to the bed while I filled bags with ice for his head and ribs. I plugged the heating pad up so he could use it once the ice numbed the pain and made myself comfortable in the chair that was next to his bed, but that didn’t last long before Seth was asking me to lay next to him.
Under different circumstances, I would have declined, but since he was in pain, I didn’t give him a hard time. I opened the bottle of Tylenol and handed him two along with a bottle of water before getting in bed next to him. As soon as I did, Seth cuddled up next to me. I began to massage his scalp as silence found us, hoping his pain wouldn’t make it too difficult for him to get to sleep.
Seth chuckled quietly making me smile before I asked, “What’s so funny?”
“I was just thinking about that time you almost let us have a dog.”
Made me laugh myself. I’d never been a fan of dogs or pets in general, but when Alexander was five, he just had to have a puppy. Luckily for him, one of the members of the church was going out of town and needed someone to watch her dog. We took that as an opportunity to see how Alexander would handle the responsibility… and to see if his excitement would fade once we had a dog in the house.
Unluckily for him, the dog was sick, so he ended up pooping uncontrollably everywhere the first day we had him. The stomach bug caught us all by surprise, so we weren’t expecting to walk into our guest room to see mounds of poop everywhere. I stepped on one, freaked out, and let’s just say the words coming out of my mouth were not very nice at all. It took me a good two weeks to fully get over that, and Seth refused to let me live it down.
“You’re never going to forget that, are you?” I asked through my chuckle.
“Nah. Not ever.” I couldn’t blame him. Neither would I. “You cried for like an hour straight, even after I cleaned your foot and the crap up. Then you went on a rampage.” Seth laughed again, this time I joined him. “That’s when things weren’t all bad, though, you know? Felt like I still had a chance to keep your love.” I didn’t really know what to say to that, so I remained quiet.
Tragedy always pulled us closer. It was always after tough times that we conceived and agreed to try and make us work. If I wasn’t careful, that would be the case tonight, and I was not having that.
“We had some good times, Dally, didn’t we?”
I released a sigh as I lowered myself further into the bed. “Yea. We almost had it all.”
Seth looked up at me, and I caressed his purple cheek. My eyes watered so I looked away. It didn’t matter how hard I fought to be free… something always pulled me back. Sometimes it was loyalty. Sometimes it was that pesky habit of giving him what he needed. And times like this, as much as I hated to admit it, it was love. For some strange reason, one that I wished wasn’t true, I still had love for this man.
Hope you’re ready for this epic tale!