Be With Me (Adair Family #4) -Samantha Young Page 0,2

peer at it. “Eredine? It’s pronounced Ery-Deen.”

My lips twitched. He pronounced it differently from how it looked, but I liked it. Weirdly, somehow, it fit. “That’ll do.”

“It’s bonny.” Mac gave me a sympathetic smile.

“Surname?”

“Willows,” I said without thinking. The Wind in the Willows had been one of Granny’s favorite children’s books. “Eredine Willows.”

“It’s perfect.” Lachlan stood up. “We’ll get you out of here … Eredine.”

Eredine.

So strange.

So foreign.

I tried to pull the name on like a sweater. Make it fit. Sighing past the tightness in my chest, I stood too. “I’m going to pay you back.”

“I don’t want that.”

“I do.” I lifted my chin stubbornly. “I have my granny’s house I can sell. If you help me sell it, I can use the money from that to pay you back for this. I need to. And I’m not asking.”

Everyone thought because I was soft spoken and reserved that I was a pushover. They soon found out they were wrong.

Lachlan’s eyes sparked with understanding. “Okay.”

“Okay, then.” My hands shook as I reached to close the laptop. “When do we leave?”

1

EREDINE

Present day

Sutherland

Scottish Highlands

I moved to close the bedroom door when Lewis called out sleepily, “Light!”

“I got you, buddy,” I answered softly, pulling the door almost shut. A crack of light from the hallway filtered into Lewis’s bedroom. Having already put a sleeping Eilidh to bed, I made my way quietly downstairs to Thane’s open-plan living room and kitchen.

It had been a good night with the kids. Since it was New Year’s Eve, I let them stay up a little later, but I could tell by ten they were fighting sleep. We were watching our second Disney movie of the night when Eilidh fell asleep on the couch and Lewis drowsily agreed that it was time for bed.

The wall clock above the dining table said it was just past eleven. I grabbed a drink from the fridge and settled into Thane’s massive sectional to watch the New Year’s Eve shows broadcasting from Edinburgh and Glasgow.

Memories of New Year’s parties in LA prodded at me, but I shook them off, and the accompanying dread, and tried to concentrate on what the Scots called “Hogmanay” celebrations. The TV flickered in the room’s dim light, the images flashing in a blur. The volume was low so as not to wake the kids, and my ears pricked up at a noise from the laundry room.

It sounded as if the laundry outer door had just opened and closed.

Pulse pounding in my ears, I swiped the heavy paperweight from the coffee table and crept toward the laundry room. I couldn’t hear anything but the blood rushing in my ears.

Maybe it was Regan?

But why would it be? She’d left now that she and Thane were no longer seeing each other.

I wanted to speak, call out hello, but fear closed my throat.

Determined, I stepped into the doorway of the laundry and slammed my hand down over the light switch.

The long, narrow room illuminated, but there was no one, nothing. The outer door sat closed, untouched.

My pulse slowed.

So I was jumpy these days. What was new?

Shaking my head at myself, I placed the paperweight back on the coffee table and retrieved another drink from the kitchen.

I heard it too late.

As I was crossing to the couch, the floorboards creaked at my back. My heart leapt into my throat as I spun around.

This was when everything should go dark.

That was how it happened.

Instead, I faced him.

Terror froze me to the spot.

I couldn’t scream. Couldn’t run.

“I finally found you,” he said lovingly. “All these years, and I finally found you.”

No.

No!

Then he grinned, and my mouth opened on a silent scream at the sight of his teeth, all sharpened into vicious points. My pulse raced so hard, I was sure I would die.

No.

Please.

He lunged, teeth to my throat, sinking in—

Jaymes Young’s song about loving someone until infinity blared in my ears, and my eyes flew open as I let out a strangled cry.

Daylight streamed into my bedroom, and the rushing in my ears slowed as I came out of the nightmare.

Just a nightmare.

My limp hand fell to my forehead. I was clammy with sweat.

“Shit,” I whispered.

At the continued sound of one of my favorite songs ringing through the room, I realized it was my ringtone—someone was calling me. I scrambled for my phone on my bedside table and saw it was my friend Arran. “Hey,” I answered quickly.

“Thank bloody goodness,” Arran grumbled in his Scottish accent. “I was about to break down the door.”

“What?” I sat