#TeaserTuesday: Out of the Dark (Clear Water Creek #1) - Scarlet Blackwell


Happy #TeaserTuesday! Today we're bringing you a sneak peek of book one of Scarlet Blackwell's new Clear Water Creek series: Out of the Dark. Out of the Dark will be available on December 30, 2022 and is currently up for pre-order on Amazon.

From the Blurb:

 “You’re a dead man.”

Sean Keller’s words to Eden Gray nineteen years ago before an unthinkable crime was committed.
Once upon a time Eden had been persecuted by Sean and his friends. They had made his life an absolute misery. Now Eden’s back and he’s here for revenge. Sean is Sheriff in Clear Water Creek, respected and admired but tormented by his memories for half his life.

“You stood there and watched. You let it happen. If you go to the cops, you go down too.”

Eden is a broken man. The crime has pervaded every area of his life and he’s been unable to move on.
What both men have never been able to accept is their feelings for each other and how they can ever reconcile these with what happened that night.

Warnings: Strong language and violence. Sexual scenes. See author’s social media or front of book for more.


Paul only lived a ten-minute walk away, which was good because Sean Keller wasn’t in any fit condition to drive home when he left sometime after midnight. The summer night was clear and warm, a full moon hanging low over the trees illuminating the dirt track down to Sean’s house, which stood alone in a clearing overlooking the lake.
Sean still counted his blessings that he had been lucky enough to get this job after what had happened in high school. If his role on that night ever became public though, he doubted he would be sheriff of Clear Water Creek much longer. He had lived in fear of discovery since he had first trained as a police officer all those years ago.
He reached his house, which he had left unlocked as he usually did, and went up to his bedroom. There, he stripped naked and pulled on a pair of pajama bottoms before he took a beer outside onto the porch and sat facing the water.

His mind went back to earlier that afternoon, as it had a thousand times, and the black Porsche speeding on the road into Clear Water Creek. He had eased out of the side road, put his foot down, and given his siren one burst, flashing his lights at the offender.

The driver responded soon enough, pulling over to the side of the road and sitting there waiting as Sean put his hat on and climbed out of his patrol car. His jaw tightened in grim anticipation of seeing whichever rich city boy on vacation was driving and giving him a ticket, maybe even arresting him. He took note of the license plate as he walked up to the car should the joker inside decide to speed off. The car looked new and was well cleaned, the back loaded with boxes and suitcases as though the owner was moving house.

Sean stepped up to the open window and bent down to look inside. He almost reeled back at who he saw inside. The ghost from the past in the driver’s seat making his heart pound and his lunch threaten to come back up.
Eden Gray looked up at him. He looked much the same except that he was more attractive— less the boy and more the man. His hair, which had gone through various red, purple, and blue shades during his Mohawk phase at school, was its natural shade of chestnut brown with hints of deep red. It skimmed his collar, falling untidily over his face. His eyes were as unsettling as they had always been, a vivid topaz—animal eyes, kaleidoscopic and changing with the light. He was clean shaven and his skin, which had always been pale porcelain in winter, was tanned, with a sweep of freckles over the nose. The lines of his profile were graceful and his mouth small and pouting. He’d been a pretty teenager. He’d grown into a stunning man.

He smiled, showing perfect white teeth, not looking remotely surprised or fazed. The smile didn’t reach his eyes. “Hello, Sean.”

On the roof of the car, Sean’s fingers curled against the paintwork, anchoring him there so he wouldn’t pass out. His legs were weak with fear, something he had not felt in many years.

“Do you know how fast you were going?” he asked in a voice he barely recognized as his own, so tightly controlled was it.

Eden shrugged. “Forty? Fifty?”

Sean’s teeth clenched. “Fifty-nine,” he said between them. “I caught you on radar.”

“It’s a fair cop,” Eden said, holding up his hands. “Want to cuff me now, Officer?” He held Sean’s gaze, a provocative look in his eyes.

“Sheriff,” Sean snapped. “License and registration.”

Eden rolled his eyes. He leaned over to the glove compartment and produced his papers, handing them to Sean who scanned them without reading a word and dropped them into Eden’s lap.

“Step out of the car.”

“Come on.” Eden’s casual manner evaporated and irritation edged his tone.

“I said, step out.”

Eden sighed. He swung the door open, climbed out and slammed it hard. He leaned against it, eyeing Sean. He had grown tall, only a few inches shorter than Sean, his body lean and toned. “Well, aren’t you going to bend me over the hood? That’s the position you prefer me in, isn’t it?”

Sean’s jaw twitched, the only outward sign of his inner turmoil. “You were driving dangerously in a small town at a time of day when children are crossing the road. I should arrest you now and let you spend the night in the cells.”
Eden stared him down. “You won’t though, will you?” He lifted one eyebrow, letting the unspoken threat hang in the air between them. Sean had the sudden urge to grab him by the hair and slam his head into the car door.

Eden smiled, his eyes sparking with hate. “It was nice to see you again, Sean. I’m disappointed I don’t get a homecoming hug though.” He wrenched open his door and climbed back in. Sean turned away and retraced his steps back to his car, his fists clenched.

He climbed in and started the engine, staring ahead, waiting for Eden to move. The Porsche set off at a sedate speed, and the horn blared before a hand came out of the driver’s window, middle finger extended.

Sean clenched his jaw so hard his teeth hurt. He clutched the steering wheel, leaving damp marks. He trembled with emotion. Pure fury streaked through him at Eden’s behavior, along with anger at himself for not having the balls to give him a ticket. This was followed by sheer terror that the time had finally come for Eden’s retribution after all these years. He lowered his head onto the wheel, eyes closed.

Get a grip. Get a fucking grip. Going to pieces is not you. What the fuck are you doing?

But Sean felt weak and afraid. He guessed now the boot was on the other foot and he knew how Eden must have felt that night.

On his porch, he stared out over the water, drinking his beer. His thoughts drifted back to his teenage self and his shameful secret.

He hadn’t been a nice boy. He was a bully at school, always angry, always looking for someone to take it out on. He and his jock friends terrorized weaker boys—the geeks, the metal-heads, the queers. As far as Sean could see, Eden was all three, and his attitude inflamed Sean further. Because Eden kept his pride. He was arrogant and cool, and never let his fear of the bullies show, even when Sean’s gang roughed him up, spat at him, and intimidated him. He was clever and sarcastic, and usually got his own back in class, showing up the bullies for what they were— meatheads who would never amount to much.

Things had come to a head one day after Eden had been a little too clever for his own good. Sean was talking with Max Silver, the ringleader of their gang, at the back of the class and their teacher sharply suggested Sean read the next passage from the French text of Le Grand Meaulnes.

In an atrocious accent, Sean drawled and stumbled his way through the first paragraph and stopped short when he heard Eden sniggering in front of him. He lifted a foot and booted the back of Eden’s chair, hissing at him to shut the fuck up.

“Sean,” the teacher said. “Eden, do you think you can do better?”

“Yes, sir,” Eden replied and launched into the paragraph with an impeccable accent.

Sean sunk in his seat red-faced as the rest of the class laughed at the difference between the two accents. After class, he grabbed Eden by the collar of his shirt and slammed him against the wall. “You’re a dead man,” he said before he stalked away.

In the cafeteria at lunch, he gathered his cronies around him—Max, Damon Morris, and Allan Johnson—and told them they were going to get Eden back for showing him up that day. He’d noticed the other boys smirking at his embarrassment in class but they all seemed keen to mete out justice to Eden regardless. They hated the geek just like him, but he doubted their loyalty. He called them his friends. They weren’t really.

Sean got up from the table, swaying as he went back into the house. He wouldn’t think any more about that night. Not now. 

Out of the Dark is currently available for pre-order on Amazon and will be available as part of your Kindle Unlimited subscription December 30.