Daggers & Dresses (Enlighten Series Book 2)

By: Kristin D. Van Risseghem

Chapter One


LAST NIGHT A FRIEND of mine rose from the dead—and I was the one who brought her back. So, I guess ... I’m an angel. Or, at least most of my friends think I am.

Even wrapped tightly in the arms of my favorite oversized PINK hoodie, I shivered. It was chilly for mid-April while I sat on my front porch. The sun was coming over the horizon, but that wasn’t where the tremor had come from.

I glanced up, startled by the high-pitched squealing of truck brakes that rang above the music playing from my phone. The truck turned into the cul-de-sac and careened straight into the next-door neighbors’ driveway. What made it really strange was the house had been empty since last October. I could still see the top of the “For Sale” sign on the manicured front lawn. I pulled out my cell phone to text my boyfriend, Shay.

Me: Good morning!

As I waited for a response, a gray-uniformed driver opened his door and climbed down. He walked to the back of the truck; multiple doors slammed.

“This furniture goes into the living room on the main level,” a man said.

I didn’t particularly want to be a nosy neighbor, but I couldn’t help myself. I eased higher on the top step, hoping to get a look at the man who seemed to be in charge. His back was to me, so all I could tell was he had short blond hair. He glanced down at something, then looked back up, turned, and pointed toward a number of other, smaller trucks in the cul-de-sac’s parking. More uniformed men jumped out of the smaller trucks and gathered around their boss, waiting for instructions. I had no interest in watching a bunch of people move boxes, so I just stayed on the step and waited for my best friend, Kieran, and Shay.

A shadow moved into my vision. I lifted my head and spotted someone standing on the street in front of my gate. From this angle and with the sun directly behind the person’s head, I couldn’t see the face, but I knew the body. Then he cleared his throat, and I smiled. I stood and lifted my hand to shield my eyes. No wonder he never texted me back. He probably thought an in-person hello was better.

“Hi,” I said to Shay. “Why are you just standing there? You can let yourself in.”

He stepped forward and opened the gate, and as he came into view, my eyes traveled up his body, over the usual black boots and black jeans. A blood red T-shirt hugged his upper torso, which was odd. When had Shay added color to his wardrobe? The sleeves barely contained a notable set of muscles, and the rest of the material was unsuccessfully hiding what I knew to be an impressive six-pack. In contrast to his dark clothes, Shay had blond hair, unlike my own long, brown hair. Now that he was coming out of the direct sunlight, I was able to admire his strong chin and soft lips. Last week I’d kissed those lips on a number of occasions.

But by the time I reached his eyes, which were the most startling aqua color, an intense shiver ran through my body. The sensation was nothing new, but it felt off.

My mouth opened, ready to speak, but he beat me to it. “Name’s Aiden,” he said.


The person standing in front of me looked so similar to Shay he could have passed as Shay’s older brother. He was going to be my next-door neighbor? Whoa.

“Hey, Aiden!” a shrill female voice shouted from an open window. “You still have unpacking to do! If I have to tell you one more time, I’ll raise holy hell ...”

I couldn’t speak. Maybe the saying “we all have a twin in the world” was true. Aiden turned and briskly walked back toward his house. I gawked at his retreating back.

Just then a gold Cadillac CTS-V screamed down the road toward me and finagled its way through the parked vehicles. Kieran usually walked with me to school since his house was only six away from mine, but the events of last week had kicked him into protection-mode overdrive. I watched him climb out of the car, wearing his usual cream-colored dress slacks, a tan, unbuttoned shirt rolled up at the sleeves, and a white T-shirt underneath. His tall, slender build was one a model would be proud of, and his wavy, light-blond hair had all the girls at school wanting to date him—except for me, of course, because well, because he’s my best friend. But he’s swoon worthy, or so they tell me.

“Hi, Zoe.”

“Hi, K. What’s up?”

When he took his sunglasses off, he revealed his bright blue eyes, but he wasn’t smiling. Actually, he looked a little panicked.

“Have you been waiting here long?”

I shrugged. “No, just listening to music and texting Shay.”

He shook his head and then gestured toward my neighbors’ place. “New people moving in?”

“Yep. Guess they finally sold the house.”