Sheridan couldn't sleep. It wasn't that Manhattan was wide awake, despite the questionable hour. It might have been the cup of coffee she'd had around eight that evening, but she'd compensated by swallowing a sleeping pill - and still nothing.
She stared at the ceiling as she lay in bed, arms at her sides. It wasn't the coffee, either, she knew. She could feel them tingling along her skin, humming in her bones like a warning. Her stupid nerves again.
Maybe she was paranoid, as her mother always suggested.
But that's why she was here, wasn't it? To take some time to get her head on straight. She huffed out a breath and threw her sheets aside. Tea. She needed tea. Tea would make everything better, help her sleep.
Her heart pounded as she filled the kettle with water.
"Idiot," she muttered to herself-a nervous habit. "Your first night here and you're already panicking." She set the kettle on the stove, turned on the burner. It was a nice place, she thought, looking around. The swanky apartment on the Upper West Side her parents often escaped to. Big, white kitchen with black countertops, floor-to-ceiling windows in the open living space, terrace doors leading to a large balcony. Her mother's simple yet elegant style was evident in the grey sofa, patterned chairs, and colorful throw pillows.
Caught up in the details of the rooms, she jumped when the kettle began to whistle. Her heart thudded all over again. She tried to steady her hand as she turned off the burner, lifted the kettle away. But it still shook as she reached for a mug, poured hot water over the strainer. Something was...off.
As she thought it, she heard the unmistakable sound of a gunshot.
Jolting, she dropped the kettle onto the counter with a clang, jumping again to avoid getting splattered by hot water.
©2016 Alexa Monroe (P)2016 Alexa Monroe