A newlywed's bizarre and alarming side surfaces while on honeymoon.
Here's an excerpt from my new suspense novel "Into the Arms of Madness".
They say the morning after your wedding you wake up to a different person, someone who looks like the one you married, but who has begun to change in some subtle way. You can't put your finger on it, but you can feel the difference just the same.
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I didn't quite believe that could be the case with my marriage. I had known my husband, Todd, for a year and a half before we got married. We were close and could talk for hours on every topic under the sun, and although we bickered on occasion, it was never about anything major. He was a good person – smart, easy-going, caring, funny, and loyal. I could always count on him to have my back.
I still thought this the morning after our wedding, but something in the way he looked at me at times left me with an uneasy feeling. I chalked it up to my imagination and just being tired from our wedding celebration and all the preparations leading up to it.
Todd had wanted to have a small, quiet ceremony—just the two of us. But we ended up inviting over forty people to our wedding. That was more for my benefit though since it was Todd's second marriage, my first, and I hoped the last for us both.
At Todd's suggestion, we had both written our own vows. I did not know what he had written until he spoke them to me at our wedding. He spoke the words with such a forceful earnestness, such force of will that I could feel them encircling me and shutting out all other thoughts. He meant what he said and he wanted me to be completely sure of it. I was. We were now Mr. and Mrs. Todd McCrary.
I was glad for the opportunity to talk with his family. I had become acquainted with some of his friends, but not anyone in his family, except for his younger brother, Craig, whom we took out to dinner once when he came to town on some business. Much of his family lived quite a distance away and I was happy that most of those we had invited accepted our invitation. They all arrived the day of the wedding and left shortly after the reception.
Todd had never brought me home for holidays or other family gatherings. Whenever he did visit his family, which wasn't often, he went by himself. He always seemed to prefer spending time with my family. We always talked to each other about everything, but he’d always clam up whenever the topic of his family came up, and a veil of melancholy would descend upon him. I let it alone and never pressed him about it. I hadn’t really gotten to know very many of his long time friends either except in a superficial way. Most of the time, whenever we got together with friends, it was with my friends.
At one point during the reception, from across the room, I could see Todd sitting with my co-workers, totally engrossed in conversation. I was glad that they were getting along so well. His older sister Claire was sitting with them, faded into the background, looking displeased about something. Todd seemed to be averting her gaze. I had tried to engage her in conversation earlier in the day, but failed. She didn't come across as shy though. An aloof negativity emanated from her and I couldn't help feeling as if I was being judged or sized up somehow.